STORY CONTINUES BELOW THESE SALTWIRE VIDEOS
SaltWire’s Atlantic regional climate forecast for October 30, 2023 | SaltWire
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Greater than 100 folks protesting the Group Outreach Centre gathered in entrance of the Shaw Constructing in downtown Charlottetown on Oct. 28.
They carried indicators with slogans that included “our youngsters deserve higher” and “in the event you’re not outraged, you’re not paying consideration.”
Their purpose is “to close the outreach centre and transfer it some other place,” mentioned one of many protesters who informed the gang she has been attacked a number of occasions.
Carol McDonald, a metropolis employee and one of many audio system addressing the gang, mentioned she would not reside close to the middle however has skilled points associated to it in her downtown office.
“I used to be attacked twice final yr down in entrance of the legislative (constructing) that they are engaged on, and nothing was ever carried out.”
She doesn’t need the centre to be utterly closed however she desires to see it go some other place.
“We’re not out to hurt the folks which are homeless,” she mentioned. “Get the correct staffing to assist them and have all people locally really feel protected.”
The rally got here two days after MLAs holding a legislative committee about homelessness heard from a number of presenters calling for modifications to the outreach centre.
That included solutions to shut or relocate the centre.
Over 100 folks gathered in entrance of the Shaw Constructing, in downtown Charlottetown to protest the outreach centre on Oct. 28. Their purpose is ‘to close the outreach centre and transfer it some other place,’ mentioned one of many protesters.#pei @PEIGuardian pic.twitter.com/hnzG2vEdOS
— Vivian (@vivian_ulinwa) October 28, 2023
Throughout the Oct. 28 rally, related points had been raised, together with from one other protester who mentioned she chased away from her property one of many outreach centre customers after he had stripped. Hailey Gallant mentioned it makes her scared for her daughter.
“She’s not protected in her yard anymore and we had two males break into the again of our home when my daughter and my mom had been in watching a film collectively,” Gallant mentioned.
“My life and my 60-year-old mom’s life has been threatened a number of occasions day by day for the final two and a half years,” she mentioned whereas additionally addressing the gang.
Gallant expressed her frustration and acknowledged the worry of those that can not converse out and mentioned she is standing up for them, together with her seven-year-old daughter.
“It was once an ideal neighborhood, however I don’t know. Even my very own dad and mom who’ve lived there for over 35 years are considering possibly we should always promote and get out of this neighborhood. If I didn’t have my seven-year-old daughter to battle for I don’t know the place I’d be.”
Charlottetown mayor Philip Brown was additionally current on the protest.
“I’ve to say that this protest was very peaceable. I believe the audio system made it fairly clear that they need this facility closed,” Brown mentioned in an interview with SaltWire.
The outreach centre property is owned and operated by the province not the Metropolis of Charlottetown, he mentioned.
“However as a metropolis, we’re answerable for the zoning improvement bylaw, or the land use, and the land use that’s there proper now permits for this neighborhood centre to be there,” Brown mentioned.
“Now we have been making an attempt to work with the native operator, and that is the Journey Group, to seek out what are their tasks and to make sure that they’re serving the wants of the shoppers that do use that facility.”
Brown mentioned these points fall throughout the province’s jurisdiction, together with the departments of Well being and Wellness, Social Growth, and Abilities P.E.I.
“They’ve the assets in place. We’re not answerable for well being and schooling. These are provincial. These are constitutional tasks that the province has. This difficulty is a psychological well being disaster. It is a drug habit disaster. It is a misuse of alcohol disaster. It is an unemployment disaster,” he mentioned.
Vivian Ulinwa is a reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. She might be reached by e-mail at [email protected] and adopted on X @vivian_ulinwa.