Violence, dangerous garbage from tent city driving customers away from Moncton daycare
There is rising concern in Moncton tonight over a tent city close to a daycare.
Daycare workers say they're worried about their business and the well-being of the children, while the city says they're figuring out a solution to please everyone.
The tent city has been at the top of Guylaine Landry's worries.
She owns a daycare right across the street.
Lately, Landry says there's been some disturbing incidents.
“We could just hear yelling and they pulled this guy and they started beating up on him with a stick and he was all full of blood,” Landry said.
Landry says she's worried for the children, their exposure to violence, and needles that were found outside her door.
Ian Johnson, who calls the tent city home, says he feels for the daycare.
“I completely understand where they’re coming from,” Johnson said. “I mean, I wouldn't want my kids going somewhere where there’s violence across the street; nothing but garbage and filth.”
He's been collecting garbage ever since the city advised tenters they could stay -- so long as they keep it clean.
But the city of Moncton is still very much divided and some councillors would like to see the tents removed completely, while others prefer to manage it.
The deputy mayor says kicking them out will not solve the problem.
“I’m convinced that’s not going to solve anything,” said Pierre Boudreau. “They'll just move to somewhere else in the city.”
Landry has already lost 10 of her clients due to rising concerns from parents.
She says she wishes the city would do more.
“They're trying,” Landry said. “That's what we keep hearing, ‘they're trying,’ but are they going to wait until something tragic happens and then they’ll take some action?”
Boudreau says the city is looking at implementing stricter rules and regulations such as “limitations on the number of tents as well, there are other factors such as sanitation.”
Said Johnson: “You still have to function, you still have to survive, and I mean, whether it’s the normal way that everyone sees it or whether it’s our way, it’s still a way of living.”
The city says they hope to arrive at a solution that will please everyone and to give some peace of mind to worried business owners.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.