Grey County council asks feds to help solve homelessness

Grey County council wants to see the federal government involved in actions taken to help address the homelessness crisis in Ontario.

At its meeting on March 9, county council unanimously voted in favour of a resolution calling on the provincial and federal governments to take action on homelessness.

The resolution came to the county from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and initially called for action on homelessness from the province only. The full resolution can be found on the agenda here.

The federal government not being mentioned in the text of the resolution did not sit well with Owen Sound Deputy Mayor Scott Greig, who suggested it was too “simplistic” to call for just the province to address homelessness.

“This is certainly a problem here that requires federal government assistance,” said Greig. “To just ask the province for a solution I don’t think is sufficient.”

Greig said any actions on solutions to homelessness would require serious funding and it only made sense for the federal government to be involved.

“They’re the ones with the deepest pocketbooks. They should be at the table,” he said.

Members of council agreed and after some back and forth on how to amend the resolution council voted in favour of a new version of the resolution that calls on both the province and the federal levels of government to “acknowledged that homelessness in Ontario is a social, economic and health crisis; commit to ending homelessness in Ontario; work with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and a broad range of community, health, Indigenous and economic partners to develop, resource and implement an action plan to achieve this goal.”

A similar resolution is the lone item on a special meeting of Collingwood council scheduled for March 13.

Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,