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The other demands are widespread: free transit, the establishment of an accessible emergency response fund for frontline workers, more transitional support services, a review of bylaws that target people in poverty and an end to tent slashing and property destruction. Gone is the upfront demand to reduce the Edmonton Police Service budget by $39 million, but Robinson said the significant police budget is a great place for the funds to come from to meet these demands.
“We have higher confidence in these new revised demands to be met by the city as a lot of them are actionable at the municipal level,” she said. “The city needs to consider them seriously and not simply as a thing that needs to be brushed aside. We’re expecting a turnaround in that in terms of city officials and councillors and the mayor himself really reading those demands. They’re not unreasonable.”
Camp at capacity
Aside from the demands, Robinson said the camp will continue to provide services for homeless Edmontonians until sufficient housing solutions are found. The camp, established at the end of June, provides food and support services to upwards of 300 people a day and is at overnight capacity with 170 tents.
On Thursday, Mayor Don Iveson stressed urgency in solving the housing issue and offered a 10-week deadline for finding a solution before the weather turns cold.
“We’re not interested in maintaining the camp as is. We have long articulated a long-term solution for these camp residents. We want to provide those living in the camp with supportive housing and we want to see that happen in the short term. We’re on a 10-week plan to end homelessness,” Iveson said.