Statement in Response to Halifax Regional Police Forcefully Removing Shelters

August 18, 2021

YWCA Halifax staff and participants are still reeling from yesterday’s events.  Our team has been supporting people in the encampments.  Our team joined with loved ones outside of the police station to help try to coordinate access to legal counsel for those detained during the confrontations with police.  Our team worked with the many other non-profits in our city to come together and coordinate a plan of response.  Like many of you, we were caught off guard by the lack of coordination with community agencies and the inability to pursue a peaceful path.

What needs to happen now:

  • All summary offence tickets should be erased.  Fining people with no resources is outrageous.
  • All charges against those who were arrested and held in police custody should be dropped.  
  • A review of actions of police, particularly the indiscriminate use of pepper spray, must be conducted.
  • A review of the unconstitutional refusal by police to allow those detained to have access to legal counsel must be conducted.  
  • Resources must be leveraged to allow for a full enumeration of all those who have been scattered, assessing their current housing and needs.
  • Resources must be leveraged to support all those in need of housing to access safe, self-determined shelter.
  • A lived experience advisory committee resourced and convened by city council to inform council and administration.
  • A full and public accounting of the decision-making process that lead to yesterday’s events.

If you are in need of legal or housing support as a result as a result of yesterday’s events, please reach out to us. We are working with our partners and are here for you.