Canadian News Jan 18, 2021 5:22 PM EST

Homeless man dies in Montreal in front of homeless shelter closed due to COVID

The 51-year-old victim was found on Sunday morning just before 8 am.

Homeless man dies in Montreal in front of homeless shelter closed due to COVID
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC
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The death of a Montreal Inuit man is being investigated after his body was discovered in a portable toilet just 25 metres from the homeless shelter he used to frequent.

The La Porte Ouvert shelter, which translates literally to "the Open Door shelter," normally operates 24 hours a day, but was closed due to "plumbing problems and a major COVID-19 outbreak," reports CBC Radio-Canada.

The 51-year-old victim was found on Sunday morning just before 8 am.

"If we had been open, we could have assisted that person. Perhaps that person would have come instead of being hidden in a chemical toilet," said Melodie Racine, Executive Director of La Porte Ouvert, translated from French.

Direcor of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal, Nakuset S, tweeted "An Inuk man froze to death over the weekend near the Open Door. Not enough shelter space. Governments, please send in the army.  How many Indigenous people have to die before you do something?"

Nakuset says she spoke to the City of Montreal and a federal representative requesting the deployment of the army to "pitch warming tents to help the homeless after curfew." Montreal has been under a strict 8pm curfew with violators risking fines of up to $6,000.

"Both said it's only the province that can authorize the army to help the homeless...when will the govt help?" Nakuset concluded.

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