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P.E.I. neighbours rally against Community Outreach Centre, planned move

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Opposition against the Community Outreach Centre in Charlottetown continued on Prince Edward Island Tuesday. Roughly 100 people showed up on the steps of the P.E.I. legislature to send a message to government: Shut it down.

It was a response to recent news the province was going to move the homeless support shelter from its current location to another spot about one kilometre away.

There has been fierce opposition from neighbours. They weren’t happy with the province’s answer, criticizing mismanagement of the service

“We demand the immediate closure of the crime-infested, community-destroying outreach centre now,” said Vaughan Davies, speaking at the rally.

Inside the legislature, MLAs discussed the move, with the opposition accusing Premier Dennis King of having no real plan to support homeless people or to help the communities impacted by the service.

“It’s his responsibility to provide Islanders safe healthcare services. He cannot blame other people,” said Liberal leader Hal Perry. “This government has a tendency to say anything, do nothing, and blame others.”

The government says that shutting down the centre is not an option.

“These are people in dire need of assistance,” said Housing Minister Rob Lantz. “We know we need to look at the way we deliver these services, but getting rid of them entirely, in my opinion, is not even a consideration.”

Lantz says the Centre will be moved within 60 days of city approval of a new site, alongside an existing overnight shelter, aiming for late January. However, the city process can take as long as three months, so city officials would need to accelerate it to meet this timeline.

For more Prince Edward Island news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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