Surprise visit to federal MPs
The Sherbrooke Tenants Association (ALS) attempted a coup on Tuesday by making a surprise visit to the offices of three MPs from the Liberal Party of Canada, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Élisabeth Brière and Lyne Bessette. Several dozens of protesters took part in the event.
The deputies were however absent on Tuesday. The purpose of this surprise visit was to put pressure on the LPC to invest $ 2 billion a year for the construction of new social housing units.
“For Sherbrooke, that would mean that we could build 200 to 300 social housing, says Mario Mercier, spokesman for the ALS. We really need it. Whenever there is a disaster, there is no housing available. There was a flood recently and we had to take out an emergency grant in private housing because there was nothing. People with disabilities get hurt and we can not relocate them. ”
There is no political reason not to move forward according to Mr. Mercier.
“I think if the federal government wants to do that, it would have the support of the Bloc, the Green Party and the NDP. ”
According to the figures presented by Carole Tatlock, representative of the ALS women’s committee, 48% of women in Sherbrooke live in housing, whereas it is more or less 33% for men.
“Women in housing experience a lot of discrimination and violence of all kinds,” she says in an interview with La Tribune outside the Marie-Claude Bibeau MP’s office in Lennoxville. There are women who are victims of domestic violence, immigrant, single-parent, legalized, or disabled women. There are many women who in addition to carrying a burden every day have great difficulty finding suitable and safe housing. ”
Ms. Tatlock also points out that many women in Sherbrooke do not live in affordable housing.
“We still think there are none at home. There are many women who spend 30%, 50% and even up to 80% of their income on housing, she says. It is heartbreaking when you have children or if you have to take medicine. In general, women are poorer than men. Social housing, there will never be enough and we want more. ”
Mr. Mercier relates a dark episode that occurred recently in Sherbrooke.
“We had a recent case of a lady who was raped in her home by the caretaker and a neighbor because they had the keys. Things like that happen and it happens at home. ”
This action of the ALS occurs at the same time as that of the Front d’action popular in urban redevelopment in Gatineau.
“Gatineau is in a catastrophic housing situation,” says Mercier. People are not yet recovering from the floods of two years ago. There is almost no housing available. We even think maybe create camps. ”
In addition to government investments, ALS is requesting a pre-budget meeting with community groups in the region.