Monday, August 21, 2006

Under The Bridge

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.--Anatole France

City officials have warned a man living under a Gardiner Expressway off-ramp that they will demolish his makeshift house this week in a move that could spark a confrontation with anti-poverty activists.

Chris, 44, who said he sometimes uses Gardiner as his last name, said he has lived under an off-ramp near Spadina Avenue for eight years in a small three-room house built out of scrap wood.

But city officials have repeatedly told him in recent weeks that planned rehabilitation of the Gardiner's concrete pillars means he has to move.

Chris has refused an apartment and various support services offered by outreach workers, saying that because of his religious convictions he does not recognize the right of landlords to charge rent.

The anti-poverty activists who insist on this deluded man's freedom to squat in a shack under a highway overpass are not his friends, their fevered protestations to the contrary.

They should be more correctly styled pro-poverty activists, because they fight hardest to keep their charges suffering, whether it be by defending their right to freeze on the streets in winter, or to panhandle, or to be prevent their involuntary committment to mental hospitals.

They are the most cruel of persons because they do others harm in good conscience.

This man needs help, but his "advocates" will make sure he never gets it. For his own good, you see.

Source: Globe and Mail

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