Watch: Montreal’s mayor Denis Coderre on the homeless spike controversy
MONTREAL – Spikes installed on a ledge that runs along the front of a store in downtown Montreal were dismantled on Tuesday after a Twitterstorm of outrage.
Intended to discourage loitering, the controversial spikes were bolted to the pavement on a wide ledge in front of Archambault, one of the largest music and book retailers in Quebec. The store is a part of Quebecor Inc., which also owns Sun Media and TVA.
The store, which is located near the Berri-UQAM metro station at the corner of Berri and Sainte-Catherine Streets, is in an area of Montreal with a high itinerant population.
Montreal’s mayor Denis Coderre took to Twitter on Tuesday to express his feelings on the matter.
“These anti-homeless spikes are unacceptable!” he tweeted.
Later on Monday morning, outside the store, Coderre went even further.
“This is not the kind of city I want to live in,” he told Global News.
“We’re sending the wrong message.”
He promised that the spikes would be removed by the end of the day, even if he had to do it himself.
Other city councillors also took to social media to express their disbelief and shock.
“Le Devoir contacted me earlier today about the Archambault store that has installed these disgusting means of repression in front of their window,” Valérie Plante, city councillor for Ville-Marie and deputy leader for Projet Montréal noted on Facebook.
“I am shocked. I refuse to believe that our city would accept such barbaric solutions to a social problem that is not going to be solved by saying ‘not in my backyard, not in front of my window.'”
In reaction to the uproar, Quebecor released a statement on Tuesday confirming that it did not ask for the spikes to be installed.
“Quebecor would like to correct some facts,” the statement read. “Quebecor and Archambault are not the owners of the building and are in no way responsible for [the spikes'] installation.
The statement did not say when the spikes had been installed, but it did mention that Quebecor had now asked the owner to remove them as soon as possible.
By noon, the so-called “homeless spikes” had been removed.
© Shaw Media, 2014