Montreal mayoral candidate Balarama Holness has a new proposal to create homes for members of Indigenous communities who have been affected by recent displacements in the Milton-Parc neighbourhood.
Calling out a "lack of leadership" from Mayor Valérie Plante, Holness and his Mouvement Montréal party say in a press release shared with MTL Blog that they have "opened dialogues with local Indigenous organizations and community housing initiatives to determine how best we can build a safer and stronger city."
On July 18, local advocacy group Meals for Milton-Parc reported that a fence had been erected around an empty lot used by unhoused Indigenous folks in the area.
A petition by the group called on the Plante administration to create a "local safe space for Indigenous community members to reside."
In a six-point action plan, Holness and Movement Montréal have pledged to:
"work with owners of unused properties to establish social housing units specifically for the Indigenous community members living in Milton Parc;"
"facilitate conversations between hotel property owners and the Indigenous community members living at Milton Parc to establish an Indigenous Welcome Space by June 2022;"
"immediately build and maintain a local outdoor space for the Milton Parc Indigenous community that has benches, water fountains, handwashing stations, public restrooms, and garden space;"
"permanently reduce the speed limit on Parc Avenue between Pine Avenue and Sherbrooke Street;"
"provide both The Open Door and Meals For Milton-Parc with stable and consistent monthly funding until at least June 2022; and,"
"provide Indigenous organizations and initiatives with additional community grants to support their mediation and outreach work in Milton Parc and amongst houseless Indigenous populations in Montreal."