November 23rd, 2021

August 18th evictions cost almost $50,000, involved 64 police officers, according to Freedom of Information request

Halifax - The August 18th evictions of people living in tents cost the public $49,127.11 and involved 64 police officers, according to a new Freedom of Information Request received by the NDP Caucus. Police actions that day and the subsequent arrest of 24 people have been roundly criticized.

“Spending almost $50,000 to evict a handful of people living in tents is gross. People were calling on governments to act on the housing crisis and instead, they spent tens of thousands of dollars dispatching 64 officers. It was clear on August 18th and it is clear now; what people need are homes,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill.

Housing advocates recently revealed that they were not told in advance about the evictions, putting housing support workers at risk, and damaging the relationships between people experiencing homelessness and the staff who are supposed to assist them.

“The police brought riot gear, removed their name tags, and tried to limit journalists covering the protest. Members of our caucus were proud to stand with the hundreds of residents of the city who were there to protect the emergency shelters which were the only places people had to live.” said Burrill. “The charges against the 24 people who were arrested on August 18 must be dropped.”

New Democrats have been proposing solutions to the housing crisis for years, including first proposing permanent rent control in 2018.

“There are solutions to the housing crisis. The provincial and federal governments need to step up to the plate,” said Suzy Hansen, NDP Housing spokesperson. “We need permanent rent control, a rapid increase in affordable housing, and an emphasis on support for co-op and non-profit housing.”