Looking directly into news cameras on Wednesday, mayor- elect Olivia Chow put the blame for unhoused refugees sleeping on the street on the shoulders of the federal government.
Ottawa “is not paying a cent right now for refugee housing,” Chow told reporters in Scarborough after the first of her three “transition” meetings about housing, mental health and homelessness with a range of experts.
Asylum seekers have been caught in a battle between the city and federal government over scarce shelter resources, and the city has said that refugees seeking emergency beds in Toronto’s non-refugee-specific shelters will be redirected to Ottawa-funded services. In practice, many have been forced to sleep outside.

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