Quebec’s second opposition party is calling for people experiencing homelessness to be exempt from the government-imposed curfew.

Alexandre Leduc, a member of Quebec solidaire, said Wednesday his party is concerned after hearing reports that homeless people have been ticketed in Val-d’Or and Montreal for violating the health order.

He’s said he’s worried about people with addictions because most shelters don’t allow people to use drugs or alcohol. People who are homeless should not be subject to the curfew, he said.

Ontario’s plan to help poor people has left a lot of blanks yet to be filled, said the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto.

“This plan that the government is laying out is short on specifics,” Michael Fullan told The Catholic Register. “There’s some good statements there, but there’s not any teeth backing it up.”

During the first five months of the pandemic, the number of people who contacted a sex worker support group in St. John’s jumped by 100, according to the head of the St. John’s Status of Women Council.

Laura Winters said the spike in the number of people who found themselves scrambling for extra help was “staggering.”

“That’s (the program’s) rate of growth usually in a year, a year and a half,” she said in an interview Tuesday.

The provincial government is looking to buy or lease another hotel or vacant residential building in Greater Victoria to house hundreds of people without homes before the end of March, says B.C.’s attorney general.

“We’re looking at any opportunities to get people inside as quickly as we can, which is the over-arching goal,” David Eby, who is also the minister responsible for housing, told the Times Colonist. “And it may look like, if there are opportunities to do so, acquiring properties with minimal renovations that are appropriate for people to live in.”

“My life was pretty hectic. I was living on the streets, couch-surfing, [using] shelters.”

Robert Macgillivary, 26, has been using the Ally Centre of Cape Breton for years. He doesn’t remember how long.

Macgillivary thinks a lack of housing is contributing to the problem of homelessness in the region. He says a lot of students take up what rental properties there are available.

“We only have so much [housing] here. I call it depression island, really… Cape Breton Island.”

He visits local charity Loaves & Fishes for a meal but says if that meal is missed, it can be hard to find one elsewhere.

With shelters overcapacity, Quebec’s homeless population is being left in the cold—past COVID-19 curfew.

Some of Montreal’s homeless population and advocates are calling the curfew unfair for the marginalized and at-risk communities.

The province has said Montreal’s nearly 4,000 homeless people could abide by the 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. curfew by going to shelters, but advocates say there’s just not enough room.

“I really want the government to help, putting us through instead of giving us tickets,” said Annisee, a client at The Open Door shelter.

The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit CERB put cash in people’s hands, quickly, when COVID-19 hit. It was a smart and remarkable achievement. It looked like the beginnings of a basic income — but it wasn’t quite. It left out people who needed it. It got complicated with conditions, changes, interactions with other emergency benefits, and with provincial and territorial regimes. It confused applicants and recipients as their circumstances changed.

Now, CERB repayment demands are causing hardship, and while amnesty is needed that’s only a temporary reprieve, for some. The pandemic’s viral and economic toll is still rising. Long-standing inequalities and poverty are deepening and there’s no vaccine for that. If Canada hopes to withstand this crisis and “build back better” we need concrete government action on the path to a basic income. The human consequences of inaction are almost unthinkable.