Man freezes to death in Montreal

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A homeless man froze to death after Shelter officials forced him out

A man in Montreal froze to death on Saturday night. It seems the staff of the Shelter where he’d been keeping warm forced him out in the middle of the night. This is, apparently, because of current Quebec health regulations. However, Montreal’s mayor claims the city has attempted to tweak public health regime to accomodate more.

The man was Innu according to the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, Nakuset. Because he was under the influence, he fell asleep on a porta-potty just a minute away from the shelter. That’s where he died, later that night. Many are calling for the federal government to send the army in order to aid with rescue of homeless people in the city.

The Open Door shelter in Parc Ave. previously allowed people inside to sleep, but not anymore. And with the introduction of the night curfew starting from 8 PM, it is increasingly difficult for homeless people to find shelter. John Tessier, who works at the shelter, shared harsh words: ‘Every day last week he was the last person out of the door, oftentimes wanting to stay. If we’d have been open, he definitely would have been sleeping inside the centre overnight. When people are inside, if there’s any type of distress, we’re able to assist them. Unfortunately, this man was forced to be outside and passed away in a public toilet, when he could have been inside in safety’.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante stated that the city planned to reopen the Open Door shelter even before the man’s death. ‘I am terribly saddened by this death. And I offer my sincere condolences to his loved ones and to his entire community’, stated Plante. Nonetheless, the mayor did not confirm whether the city plans to make the beds available for overnight stay.