Transport Quebec cancels plans to evict homeless encampment under Ville-Marie expressway

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Transport Quebec cancels plans to evict homeless encampment under Ville-Marie Expressway
WATCH: The homeless encampment underneath Montreal’s Ville-Marie Expressway can stay for now. Quebec's transport ministry has postponed the eviction which was scheduled for Thursday. Global's Olivia O'Malley reports. – Nov 9, 2022

The homeless encampment underneath the Ville-Marie expressway can stay for now. Quebec’s Transport Ministry has postponed the eviction that was scheduled for Thursday.

“As of today, the date has not been confirmed yet,” said Transport Ministry spokesperson Sarah Bensadoun.

Crews repairing the structure say it can’t be done safely with people living underneath it, but the residents of the encampment say they were given nowhere to go.

“We feel that it is necessary to have more time to find better alternatives for the campers,” said Bensadoun.

According to the transport spokesperson, the Ministry of Health and Social Services is now involved in the process.

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When the news spread Wednesday afternoon, there was a celebratory atmosphere at the encampment.

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One camper who wished to stay anonymous told Global News that she is so happy, she feels like crying.

“It’s an awful lot of stress off for them. They’ve been very anxious this morning, as they were last night. And it really is a great relief,” said Resilience Montreal executive director David Chapman.

While the mood is jubilant, campers know it will still be an issue in the future. The Transport Ministry has no plans to postpone the ongoing repairs.

Going forward the campers ask the government to give them more suitable living arrangements and more than 10 days’ notice before kicking them out.

“We will co-operate with them from beginning to the end,” said Jacco Suban, who has been living at the encampment for several months.

For now, they say are going to enjoy their hard-fought battle, celebrating the victory together Wednesday night with a dinner at their home under the highway.

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