Outrage after Montreal store lays out spikes to deter homeless
Published Tuesday, June 10, 2014 7:55PM EDT
Metal spikes designed to deter homeless people from stooping outside a Montreal business have been removed following online outrage by the city’s mayor.
Two grey strips lined with dull points were removed from the ledge outside an Archambault music store on Tuesday. Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre took to Twitter early in the day, calling the spikes “unacceptable” and guaranteeing their removal by the end of the day.
“What about safety, what about human beings, what about dignity, what about respect for the others?” he said outside the store.
“My role is to make sure that we're all first-class citizens, and to humiliate those individuals by doing that, I don't think that's the kind of signature I want to have for my city.”
The mayor wasn’t the only one who took issue with the spikes. A man who gave his name as Rejean has been hitchhiking across the country for most of his life and said he’d never seen anything like it.
“I feel, you know, they're treating me like garbage,” he said. “You can't sit there. It's not fair.”
He also said it was a danger to the public, worrying a child running might trip and injure themselves.
Quebecor, the media company that owns store, said they didn’t own the building and weren’t responsible for the spike strips. In a statement, they said they asked the building’s owner to remove the strips as soon as possible.
By noon on Tuesday, the ledge was once again bare. And though removing the spikes doesn’t solve the issue of homelessness in the city, the director of the local homeless shelter said the issue should be addressed in a way that doesn’t demean a portion of the population.
“I think that coming together as a community to solve those issues is a much better way,” said Farell Duclair, the director of Welcome Hall Mission. “I think you'll end up having better solutions that do not degrade.”
With a report by CTV Montreal’s Maya Johnson