Whitby Mayor calls behaviour at public meeting on homeless shelter “unacceptable”

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Published August 31, 2023 at 4:39 pm

1635 Dundas Street, Whitby

Whitby Mayor Elizabth Roy is calling on the Whitby community to be “respectful” after a public meeting Wednesday on a new homeless shelter coming to the former Sunnycrest Nursing Home on Dundas Street turned ugly.

“I am deeply concerned by the behaviour of some attendees, which included yelling, physical intimidation, and offensive comments about people experiencing homelessness, and members of council,” Mayor Roy said. “This is a very emotional issue and there will be differing viewpoints. But the behaviour of some last night is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.”

One man physically threatened Roy and Regional Councillor Maleeha Shaheed, though no one was injured as security quickly responded.

“I heard loud and clear from residents that they want more structured public meetings where they can share their feedback,” Roy said, adding that the building at 1635 Dundas is a Regional Project.  “We will be working with the Region to schedule a meeting and further opportunities for the public to engage.

“I am calling on the entire community to be respectful as we continue the dialogue.”

Roy said she will be following up with Durham Region on the safety and security questions that were shared by the neighbourhood and will be requesting that an update on the project be added to the agenda for the next Regional Council meeting.

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