Thursday, October 22, 2020

Toronto didn’t comply with shelter physical distancing measures: Judge


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A judge has ruled that the City of Toronto did not comply with physical distancing measures it agreed to in shelters as it responded to COVID-19 in the spring.

In April, a group of advocates for the homeless brought a charter application to Ontario Superior Court challenging the shelter standards.

The group argued the city’s standards permitted the use of bunk beds and failed to require a minimum of two-metre spacing between beds, the standard public health measurement to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

It sought an injunction to stop the city from using lesser standards, but later put it on hold when the city signed an agreement with the group to make improvements.

In June, the city told the group it had complied with the agreement, but a few weeks later the advocates said that wasn’t true.

In a written ruling released Thursday, Justice Lorne Sossin ruled in favour of the advocates.

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“It is evident that a number of shelter sites were not in compliance with the physical distancing standard set out in the Interim Settlement Agreement as of June 15, 2020,” he wrote.

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