Greater Sudbury hires consultant on homelessness

As more tents pop up in a downtown park, Greater Sudbury has hired a consultant on homeless issues in the city.

Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc said a consultant has been hired to examine growing homelessness and issues related to it in Sudbury.

"About a week and a half ago our staff went out and hired Ian Dejon from the Greater Toronto area to come and do an evaluation of our homeless situation to give us an extra set of eyes," said Leduc. "And his opinion of how we are to move forward in trying to get everybody housed."

But one downtown business owner questions why the city is hiring another consultant.

"I have never seen a city who has hired more consultants," said Tony Monteleone. "(Why) are we paying these people six figures in city hall? What are we paying the mayor? What are we paying CAO?"

Monteleone said many downtown businesses are fed up with litter, open drug use, crime and unsanitary conditions. He said the city needs to respond more practically.

"Human waste in the front windows and in the foyers and we call city hall and we say somebody just urinated and some human waste is sitting right here," he said.

But he was told if it's not on city property, the city won't clean it up.

Leduc said downtown businesses have reached out to city staff and council with their frustrations and concerns.

"It is affecting their businesses downtown," he said. "We are having people defecate in the park, on the streets, the drug use is very heavy."

Leduc said at this point, there is no word when the consultant's report will be ready or how much it will cost.