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Statement on Proposed City of Barrie By-Law Amendment Criminalizing People Experiencing Homelessness

June 20, 2023 - 1:25 pm / News

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness is deeply concerned by a proposed by-law amendment being considered by Barrie City Council that would prevent support being provided to people experiencing homelessness within the city.

The proposed by-law amendment would make it illegal for anyone to provide food, water, clothing, shelter or other essentials to anyone at no charge, without a permit from the city. This by-law targets people experiencing homelessness and would prevent organizations and individuals from providing essentials to the most vulnerable citizens, most in need of support.

“This by-law is a clear-cut violation of basic human rights and a shocking criminalization of people experiencing homelessness”, said Tim Richter, President and CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. “This is an assault on basic human decency, it hurts people who are already suffering and will make the life-threatening experience of homelessness that much more dangerous.”

“The CAEH urges Barrie City Council – in the strongest possible terms – to reject this proposed by-law amendment at the Council Meeting on Wednesday, June 21st, and to commit to meaningful, effective action on homelessness,” said Richter.

“Homelessness is a solvable problem. If Barrie City Council is interested in taking effective, meaningful and humane action to end homelessness, we stand ready to assist them.”

“Other Ontario communities are making progress on homelessness and Barrie should be drawing inspiration from them, not punitive measures proven ineffective decades ago.”

Today, CAEH launched an online tool in support of the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness (SCATEH) that allows members of the public to contact city councillors and let them know that they do not support this by-law. The tool can be used at

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