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City Hall's homeless tent city ordered dismantled

Protesters chase off bylaw officer. Ask, 'where is the mayor?'

About a dozen homeless protesters that set up tents on the lawn of North Bay's City Hall have been ordered to take them down.

That order came from a city bylaw officer, who was then chased off the site by Shane Moyer, a homeless advocate who is now homeless himself.

The confrontation came just before 3 this afternoon.

When the bylaw officer arrived a loud argument broke out between the officer and Moyer.

The homeless group has agreed to dismantle the site, but say they will be back tomorrow without the tents.

"It's not an end to it," said Moyer. "It hasn't stopped until the rest of the people are off the street."

The group is angry that Mayor Al McDonald has not made an appearance to talk with them, and rejected offers to speak instead with councillors Mark King (chairman of the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board) and Dave Mendicino.

"Where is he? He is sending his toilet people to clean up the dirty work!" Moyer added that leaving people out in the cold is "nothing short of murder."

Moyer told BayToday reporter Chris Dawson that the group was willing to dismantle the site, but did not get an eviction order to do so.

"There was a lot of anger. They wanted the mayor to come out," reports Dawson. "They didn't want a crisis worker, they wanted to see the mayor. They wanted Al McDonald and he wasn't there and I think they were pretty upset about it."

Dawson also reports the confrontation with the bylaw office was in danger of going sideways.

"The bylaw officer came down, and I think was going to give an eviction notice. Shane Moyer and the bylaw officer got into a big argument and the bylaw officer walked back to the building and Moyer was chasing him for a bit, but fortunately, it didn't come to any violence, and then a crisis worker, Brian Eade, who sees these people on the street and used to work at Pete Palangio Arena with the homeless came in and talked with Shane and a couple of people that were upset at the bylaw officer.

"He reasoned with them and got them to disperse and go to three different shelters tonight. Moyer said this is not over and they'd be back without the tents tomorrow."

See: Homeless tents at city hall a bad sign that the homeless population is growing

With files from Chris Dawson.

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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