Yes, My legal Matter with the city of Ottawa has been resolved. I have yet to go to the Court House to officially withdraw My application to the Divisional Court for Judicial Review, though I Plan on tending to the Matter on Thursday (August 15th). I discussed My last resolution meeting with the city and recorded the minutes for later reference, this is [an accurate] summary of those minutes as provided by the city’s legal council this morning.
Thank you again for coming to meet with me last Thursday on August 8, 2019.
As promised, below is a summary of the discussion points.
- You discussed how important it was that those who stated you were a risk to shelter staff and others apologize and rescind this.
- To this end, you were to review Shelley’s apology letter;
- I was to convey this to Housing Services for them to decide if they wish to review the issue of deference to the Salvation Army decision; and
- I agreed to relay the information to the Salvation Army and to ask them if they would like to provide information on the 3 missing paintings and the email to the lady interested in your painting. I confirmed that all I can do is to tell them this is what you are looking for from them but that I cannot compel them to do anything as this is between you and the Salvation Army. You consented to me relaying this information.
- You mentioned that you feel people don’t respond to your letters and that you have ideas and lived experiences that you want to share with elected officials. You felt that the Judicial Review was needed for someone to pay attention.
- I told you that I was of the opinion that a court proceeding is not the best way to be heard and to effect changes to the standards;
- I provided you with options on how to be heard by elected officials:
- Attending at Committee when the Shelter Standards are presented to Committee for review and approval (staff have indicated this will likely be in the Spring of 2020 – I will provide specific date and time when they are set); and
- Councillor Catherine McKenney is the Special Liaison on Housing and Homelessness (you can cc. me if you like).
- You feel that the current rules requiring people to be chronically homeless in order to receive a Housing Allowance are causing harm to people and that the priority should be to house people. You don’t understand why the City pays about $1,300 a month to accommodate someone in a shelter when your housing allowance is $600.
- I explained to you that one of the provincial priorities was ending chronic homelessness and that you are welcome to contact elected officials to provide your opinion.
- I explained that the rates are set by the Province and City Council not staff.
- I explained that staff are not making policy decisions.
- You explained how you believe that Salvation Army violated your rights and the rights of others by forcing people to participate in chapel as part of the programs. You feel that you should be entitled to compensation for the infringement of your rights.
- I explained that I have no compensation to offer you and that the issues you raised in your complaint letter were taken seriously and have been addressed. There are lessons learned and improvements as a result of your complaint.
- You believe the barring of clients occurs too often at the Salvation Army and the Mission. You would like the City to oversee/review these.
- I confirmed that we would review the process for barring clients, look at other standards from other cities and review the content of the Shelter Standards.
- I asked if it would resolve the matter if City staff were to review the particulars of your barring. You said you would think about it.
- You believe the police services should not be involved in shelter issues (mentioned personal experience with Constable Jenkins being called as a first resort) and that bedbugs are preventable. You suggested we look at the Thunder Bay Salvation Army model (no bedbugs, no police presence).
- I indicated I was not aware of the incident with Constable Jenkins.
- I committed to asking staff to reach out to the Thunder Bay Salvation Army for best practices.
- You indicated you are considering a tort claim instead of a judicial review
- I suggested you seek legal counsel on the matter and that I would prefer we resolve the issue as we are doing since I don’t believe the court process will provide you with the result you are looking for which is change and improvements.
I trust the above is accurate.
I have relayed the information to my client. They have confirmed that they are revising the refusal to serve clients and time-out arrangements sections of the Shelter Standards. They will be reaching out to Thunder Bay.
I have not yet reached out to the Salvation Army.
In My regular Posts, I Will discuss this Letter in more detail. For now, I Will share My final response to the city, and My Promise to withdraw My application to the Divisional Court.
Thank You very much for this and also for taking the time to meet with Me last Thursday. I would like to convey to You that although I did go over Shelley’s last email, I did not recognize the email as an apology, primarily because the statements concerning the Salvation Army’s decision to bar Me was not revoked/retracted. However, You were successful in communicating to Me that there was no ill intent and that the final determination was the official reply and response provided by the Salvation Army and is not [necessarily] the opinion of Housing Services. I asserted that I felt the Salvation Army should have been asked to provide proof of their allegation/accusation against Me [as part of a ‘non-partisan’ investigation], but it is important for Me to let You know that I am satisfied that Shelley’s letter was not intended to offend, and that Housing Services has done their very best to fully investigate this Matter.
I Will be rescinding My application to the Divisional Court, I give You My Word on that – I am hoping I Will have a chance to do that sometime this week. You also mentioned You would consider asking Constable Jenkyn’s for a letter of apology for his actions. I understand this is completely unrelated to the Matters previously at Hand, however it is something I Will need to consider and address moving forward, and a proper letter of apology would be satisfactory compensation. Again, I don’t really anticipate that Jenkyn’s Will comply with My request for an apology, though I do think Your influence has the potential to prove Me wrong.
Thank You kindly for all Your efforts with respect to this Matter,
Love and Blessings,
House of von Dehn,
Hand of Stephen,
Kingdom of God.