The body of a Montreal Inuit man was discovered in a portable toilet just 25 meters away from the homeless shelter he used to frequent.
The La Porte Ouvert shelter, which translates to “the Open Door shelter,” normally operates 24 hours a day. However, it was closed due to “plumbing problems and a major COVID-19 outbreak,” according to a CBC Radio-Canada report.
The body of the 51-year-old man was found on Sunday morning just before 8 am.
Melodie Racine, Executive Director of La Porte Ouvert, said, “If we had been open, we could have assisted that person. Perhaps that person would have come instead of being hidden in a chemical toilet.”
Director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, Nakuset S, said in a tweet, “An Inuk man froze to death over the weekend near the Open Door. Not enough shelter space. Governments, please send in the army. How many Indigenous people have to die before you do something?”
Nakuset says she spoke to the City of Montreal and a federal representative to request that the army deploy “pitch warming tents to help the homeless after curfew.”
Montreal has been under a strict 8 pm curfew. Violators risk fines of up to $6,000.
“Both said it’s only the province that can authorize the army to help the homeless…when will the govt help?” Nakuset said.