Toronto: It is with regret that we report the deaths of 10 of our homeless community in the GTA since mid-October 2019, said Engage and Change.

The GTA is facing an insurmountable humanitarian crisis of epic proportions that continues to be placated by official attempts at band-aid solutions. As we usher in a new decade of hope and prosperity mourning the death of 2 of our homeless community who perished on New Year’s Day, affordable housing remains an oxymoron for this faction and shelter beds are at a premium, Engage and Change said in a statement.

The Old Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal has doubled the number of beds available in its second consecutive year of operation as an emergency shelter for the homeless, but it’s only supposed to serve as an emergency shelter.

Last year, the shelter had 80 beds. That number has gone up to 150 beds this year. The shelter is receiving about 130 to 140 people on a nightly basis, reaching close to its capacity.

“The answer isn’t more shelter beds, the answer is more housing. It’s unacceptable [that] in 2020 people [are] living on the streets in Montreal,” said Sam Watts, CEO of the Welcome Hall Mission.

Rima Berns-McGown, Ontario NDP critic for Poverty and Homelessness, is calling on the Doug Ford government to declare homelessness in the province a state of emergency. Berns-McGown said recognizing the crisis would also mean taking immediate action to properly fund shelters, as well as transitional, supportive, and rent-geared-to-income housing for people in need.

“No one should have to experience homelessness, but this is the cold reality of everyday life for more and more Ontarians, including entire families and a disproportionate number of Indigenous people,” said Berns-McGown. “With shelters overflowing and ‘tent cities’ getting torn down, people literally have nowhere to turn and we see person after person after person die a preventable death. Ontario has a homelessness crisis, and it’s inexcusable for the provincial government to keep ignoring it when lives are on the line.

There are fewer children living in poverty in P.E.I., but one activist thinks the numbers aren’t going down fast enough.

The P.E.I. Coalition for a Poverty Eradication Strategy and the MacKillop Centre for Social Justice released their annual child poverty report card Tuesday.

Mary Boyd, the report card’s author, said Canada has seen its poverty rate drop over the years, but the overall number of children living in poverty has gone up because the population has grown.

Rachael Allen from Union Gospel Mission said “extreme cold, means extreme need” and more donations of warm weather clothing are needed to keep up with demand.

“We’ve heard from people who are homeless right now that they are really scared of getting sick or dying,” Allen told Vancouver Is Awesome.

“For them, staying warm and dry can be nearly impossible but also staying healthy is even harder, and we’ve seen health dangers ranging from getting hyperthermia to a risk of pneumonia as temperatures are plummeting below freezing.

Child poverty rates in Saskatchewan are among the highest in the country says a new report released by the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of Regina.

Based on 2017 data — the latest available from Statistics Canada — over 72,200 children in the province between the ages of zero and 17 are considered poor as defined by the United Nations.

With 26.2 per cent of Saskatchewan children being poor, the province has the third-highest poverty rate in Canada, behind the Territory of Nunavut at 31.2 per cent and Manitoba at 27.9 per cent.