In the midst of a deep freeze, one group on the front lines helping Fort McMurray’s homeless are having to turn away those who need their help most and there are fears they’ll have to turn away more because of cuts to their funding.

The organizations laid out the stark reality after pleading with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to reverse planned cuts during the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

“We are failing [the homeless],” said Allison Pardy, the outgoing executive director for the Choices Association of Fort McMurray.

Cora Sellers, executive director of Carmichael Outreach, said last month about 60 people came in saying they had no place to live.

The province’s shelter allowance rates allot $328 for rent to single individuals who are deemed employable in Regina, Saskatoon, Estevan Lloydminster and the bedroom communities outside of those cities. Those deemed unemployable or partially employable receive $459.

Sellers said the average rental cost for one person in Regina is $750.

London Opposition MPPs are calling on the province to put more resources toward homelessness, highlighting the city’s “desperate need” and urging cabinet ministers to pony up new cash for housing.

The city’s three New Democrat MPPs — London-Fanshawe’s Teresa Armstrong, London North Centre’s Terence Kernaghan and London West’s Peggy Sattler — wrote the ministers of housing and community and social services this week, saying “patiently waiting for a solution is no longer an option.”

A coalition of local agencies has been turning to motels this winter to help keep Sarnia’s homeless population out of the cold.

“We worked out an overflow bed solution which avoided us having to set up a whole new facility,” and staffing it, said Myles Vanni, with the Inn of the Good Shepherd.

The move came as homeless shelters have been packed, and people were sleeping in bushes outside Sarnia’s hospital, and huddling in the emergency department for warmth.

A grassroots attempt to overturn the Ford government’s decision to kill the basic income pilot project has failed.

In a unanimous decision Thursday, Ontario Superior Court said the applicants made “clear and cogent submissions” on the importance of the experiment and the harm participants endured when the government cancelled the anti-poverty initiative last July.

“However, the pilot project is a government funding decision which does not give rise to individual rights enforceable on judicial review,” the three-judge panel wrote.

I was a Labour activist for 25 years. In 1997 the Harris cabinet removed me from the Workers Compensation Appeals Tribunal where I represented the OFL. In 1999 when I was in a deep crisis labour activists across Toronto intervened and saved my life. But today it is no longer possible to ignore that across Canada from the CLC, through the Provincial Federations to many local Labour Councils Labour is not participating in confronting the housing crisis and the growth of homelessness.

Advocates for Vancouver’s homeless are calling on the city’s mayor and council to intervene on behalf of an estimated 100 people camping in Oppenheimer park.

According to the Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP), as many as 100 people are living in about 48 tents in the snow-covered park amid freezing temperatures.

The group is calling on the city and the province to provide a safe indoor space, heat, hygiene and shelter for the campers.