Toronto Mayor John Tory answered questions on his 60-minute monthly CP24 show on Monday, where he admitted that the city had been "overwhelmed" with homeless camps across the cities parks and public areas.
Tory said there was no "easy answer" to the growing issue, with 500 people living in homeless encampments having been relocated to temporary shelters set up in hotels.
Tory said, though, that this solution was not sustainable.
“There are no simple answers. If you say OK we will take the tents out of Fort York where do we put those people? You might say we will put them in the hotels but you asked me a question earlier this evening about the hotels and how people don’t want them there so it just goes on,” said Tory. “We are really trying to deal with this but what we really need over the long-term is a proper supportive housing strategy for people with mental health issues and addictions issues. What goes on with those people, and it is failing of the healthcare system, is a scandal and it causes them to end up in shelters and in tents instead of some kind of a treatment facility where they would get some help.”
The problem has caught the attention of the federal government, with the Trudeau Liberals having pledged $1 billion to cities so that they could buy hotels and motels for the homeless over the next six months.
Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen emphasized the project will accept applications that seek to build housing for vulnerable groups, such as women fleeing domestic abuse, and individuals who are at risk of homelessness.
Tory has said that he is not happy about the situation, even partially blaming a decision by Ontario Premier Doug Ford to release hundreds in jail awaiting trial to avoid outbreaks.