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Shoemaker stirs pot for souped-up warming shelters

The city introduced a cold-weather warming shelter plan last year. Coun. Shoemaker thinks we can do better
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After getting a somewhat cool reception on the issue last year from City Council, Ward 3 Coun. Matthew Shoemaker will be pushing next week for better cold-weather warming shelter arrangements.

Coun. Shoemaker is citing cool temperatures and power outages over the recent holidays as evidence that the Sault can do better.

Even though temperatures weren't low enough to activate the city's cold-weather warming shelter plan, disruptions to PUC electricity distribution prompted city staff and the Canadian Red Cross to announce a warming centre on Jan. 1 at the Water Tower Inn.

The following is the full text of the resolution placed on the agenda of next week's City Council meeting by Shoemaker and his Ward 3 colleague Coun. Donna Hilsinger.

Monday's meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.

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Warming shelters

Mover: Coun. M. Shoemaker
Seconder: Coun. D. Hilsinger

Whereas in 2018 the City of Sault Ste. Marie developed a cold-weather warming shelter plan; and

Whereas in the last days of 2019 and first days of 2020, the City of Sault Ste. Marie experienced extreme weather that led to extended loss of power; and

Whereas during the extended power loss, the temperatures were relatively mild, resulting in the cold-weather warming shelter plan not being triggered; and

Whereas staff at the City of Sault Ste. Marie recognized the need for a warming shelter despite the relatively mild weather and, in partnership with the Water Tower Inn, provided a space for community residents to find warmth; and

Whereas the situation experienced in the last days of 2019 and the first days of 2020 identified the need for an update to the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s warming shelter plan;

Now, therefore, be it resolved that staff review the warming shelter plan currently in place and recommend the necessary adjustments based on the needs of the community that have become evident as a result of recent events.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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