Hamilton encampment enforcement motion sparks over 45 delegation requests

By Nathan Sager

Published on March 21, 2022 at 10:13 p.m.

Hamilton residents have signed up to weigh in on a councilman’s motion to toughen enforcement of the bylaw that covers the dismantling of homeless encampments.

District 2 Com. Jason Farr introduces a motion at the planning committee meeting on Tuesday morning (March 22) that claims the City of Hamilton has campsites that are “trenched” in public parks. The motion itself seems focused on whether city staff can have a tighter, quicker timeline to “complete their activities as part of the encampment process.” The process includes a street team meeting with homeless people.

In total, the city received 47 delegation requests to speak on the motion. Forty-four ask for five minutes each to delegate to municipal councillors, while three delegations were made in writing. This equates to three hours and 40 minutes of oral delegations, plus time for each speaker to answer questions from city councillors.

Miriam Sager, the crisis support program coordinator at SACHA (Sexual Assault Center – Hamilton and Area) is among the delegators. The same goes for notable housing advocates such as Sarah Jama, James Lambert and Rowa Mohamed.

Hamilton resumed encampment teardowns last November, following a city council vote in August and a failed bid to secure a new injunction preventing evictions. In the last week of November, six Hamilton-area housing and social justice activists, including Jama and Mohamed, were arrested during protests against the takedowns. Charges against them were dropped last week after an agreement was reached on a peace bond.

Black leaders and allied groups in Hamilton have called for a judicial review of the conduct of Hamilton Police Department officers during these protests. This does not happen.

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