Oshawa’s Community Assisted Meal Program will get another chance to stay at Mid-Town Mall

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Published April 22, 2022 at 9:22 am

It seems last week’s Community Services Committee meeting, where a permit extension for the Community Assisted Meal Program’s trailer at Mid-Town Mall was denied for a second time, was not the organization’s ‘last chance’ to be heard.

Oshawa Councillor Brian Nicholson said the request will be on the April 25 Council agenda – as will several more delegates wishing to speak on the subject – and if a council member decides to ‘pull’ the item for discussion, the issue will be heard and if a motion is made, voted upon, with a simple majority required to carry the day.

“And you can bet,” said Nicholson, who believes Council is “criminalizing compassion” by repeatedly turning down CAMP’s requests, “it will be pulled.”

The motion to extend the permit for CAMP’s trailer – which is used to hand out sandwiches and other lunch items 90 minutes a day to the homeless and other marginalized members of the population – lost by a 6-5 margin last month with Mayor Dan Carter casting the deciding vote. At last week’s committee meeting the motion to extend lost 4-2.

Councillor Rick Kerr, who chairs the Community Services Committee, and Councillor John Neal were the only committee members to vote in favour of renewing the permit. Carter and Councillors Derek Giberson, Bradley Marks and John Gray voted against.

Nicholson doesn’t understand all the hate directed at CAMP, especially as it was the City of Oshawa which chose the Mid-Town Mall parking lot site after turfing the group from Memorial Park, where they had been handing out food to those in need for six years.

“There’s been no complaints … Council is attacking the wrong group,” he said. “And when did we start criminalizing compassion? Who is being hurt by someone handing out sandwiches?”

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