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Ticketing of homeless people in Montreal sky-rockets

Researchers, community groups call on city to support, no criminalize, homeless population

by Tim McSorley

Over the past 16 years, the number of tickets given to homeless people in Montreal has increased seven-fold: In 1994, the amount given out was 1,054; by 2010,the number had soared to 6562. From 2006 to 2010 alone, 30,551 tickets were given to people who gave their residence as a Montreal homeless shelter.

The study shows that while people without fixed address make up less than 2 per cent of the city's population, they receive approximately 25 per cent of tickets. The vast majority of the infractions were for minor infractions, such as sleeping or laying down in the metro, loitering, or being intoxicated in public.

The study's authors and anti-poverty and homeless support group RAPSIM released the findings at a press conference where they also called on the city of Montreal to do more to work with and provide suppot for the city's street-invoved population, rather than simply ticketing them.

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