A widening wave Poverty and high rent prices increase the number of homeless people on Canada's streets

A widening wave Poverty and high rent prices increase the number of homeless people on Canada's streets

The wave of street homelessness caused by high rent prices and poverty has begun to move from large cities to small towns in Canada, amid warnings of its expansion.

Researchers in Canada have warned of a widening wave of homelessness that has led to tens of thousands leaving their homes due to rising rent prices, to live on the streets.

The researchers said that "the data issued by the government on this matter significantly underestimates the number of homeless people across Canada," and they noted that the wave of homelessness has begun to move from large cities to small towns.

According to local reports, in Quebec, for example, one in every two homeless people can be found in rural areas of the eastern province.

“In the city of Granby alone, we need at least 1,000 affordable housing units,” said Karen Lussier, an activist with a local anti-poverty organization.

"Between 2018 and 2022, the number of homeless people in Quebec increased by 44%, and their numbers rose to 10,000 last year," she added.

Lucier noted that Indigenous people, who represent 5% of the Canadian population, are also particularly represented on the streets.

Mayor Julie Bourdon told Agence France-Presse that "visible homelessness did not exist in Granby three years ago," acknowledging that "rents are very high now compared to two years ago."

Quebec, Canada's second most populous province, is facing a serious housing shortage due to various factors, from the pandemic to record immigration that has led to a rise in population numbers, which has consequently increased demand.

Real estate prices have become the main topic on the dinner table in Canadian homes in recent months, and popular criticism has forced the opposition and the government to give priority to housing concerns and the cost of living.

Experts have warned that homelessness is on the rise across Canada.

Canadian government data estimates that there are about 235,000 homeless people across the country, statistics that only include people arriving at shelters, according to Cheryl Forchuk, a professor at the University of Western Ontario, who said she fears the real picture is much worse.

Putin claims the killing of 90,000 Ukrainian soldiers and a bombing that leaves dozens dead in Kharkiv

The Ukrainian authorities announced that dozens of people were killed in a Russian bombing of Kharkiv, and also published statistics on the missing since the beginning of the war , while Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ukraine had lost more than 90,000 soldiers in recent months.

In his statements today, Thursday, during a conference in the Russian city of Sochi, Putin spoke about Kiev's losses since the start of its counterattack on Russian forces in early June.

He said that it lost - in addition to tens of thousands of soldiers - 557 tanks and about 1,900 armored vehicles.

In developments on the ground today, Ukrainian officials reported that at least 52 people were killed as a result of a bombing that targeted the town of Groza in Kharkiv Province, northeastern Ukraine. The town is located near the city of Kubyansk, not far from the front line.

For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the bombing, describing it as a "brutal Russian crime." Zelensky posted a photo showing several people lying on the ground, motionless.

At the same time, district governor Oleg Sinigubov said the bombing hit a food store and a cafe in the town of Gruza, 30 kilometers west of Kubyansk.

Also on the ground, the Ukrainian army said that it thwarted attempts by Russian forces to regain the positions they lost on the Bakhmut axis, specifically in the towns of Grigorievka and Andreevka in the Donetsk province, east of the country.

The Ukrainian army added that it had witnessed 57 clashes with Russian forces in the past 24 hours on all combat fronts.

The Ukrainian forces had previously announced that they shot down 24 out of 29 drones launched by the Russian army towards Ukrainian territory last night.

On the other hand, the governor of the Russian Kursk province, Roman Starovoit, said that a woman was injured by shrapnel as a result of the city of Rylsk being bombed by Ukrainian cluster munitions. Some houses, buildings and cars were also damaged, and unexploded ordnance was found at the site of the bombing.

On the other hand, the advisor to the Donetsk president appointed by Russia, Iban Ghagin, said that a group of Ukrainian military personnel, numbering more than 15 people, surrendered near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Statistics for missing persons

On the other hand, Kiev announced today that more than 26,000 Ukrainians, including 15,000 military personnel, have been missing since the start of the Russian war in February 2022.

Ukrainian Deputy Interior Minister Leonid Timchenko told national television that the missing were "11,000 civilians and about 15,000 military personnel."

Ministry spokeswoman Mariana Reva stated that these initial estimates relate only to Ukrainians whose data can be “officially verified,” noting that “this number could rise further.”

Ukraine did not reveal the full numbers of its human losses as a result of the war with Russia.

The New York Times reported, in recently published estimates, that 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and between 100,000 and 200,000 wounded since the start of the war, quoting American officials who requested to remain anonymous.

Politically, in its latest statements regarding the war, the Kremlin accused Western powers of continuing to use Ukrainians as “cheap soldiers.”

The Kremlin added that the West does not hide its intention to fight until the last Ukrainian, as he put it.

Granada meeting

Meanwhile, European leaders held a meeting today in Granada, southern Spain, with the European Union's neighbors to discuss several issues, including the Russian war in Ukraine and the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

European Union foreign policy official Josep Borrell expressed his hope that the United States would retreat from its position on supporting Ukraine, stressing that Europe cannot fill the vacuum that will occur if American support does not continue.

Borrell told reporters, "We learned that the US Congress did not include support for Ukraine in the last budget in order to avoid closure (of federal government institutions). We hope that this is not a specific position of the United States."

He continued, "My hope and the hope of the Ukrainians is that we will look for ways that the United States can continue to support Ukraine. It is certain that Europe cannot replace the United States."

For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said upon his arrival at the Granada meeting that his country's top priority is to strengthen its air defense.

He added, "It is very important for Ukraine to have a defensive shield for the winter, because in the winter there will be many attacks from different types of Russian missiles."

Regarding American aid, Zelensky said, “We are working to obtain the support of both parties (Democrat and Republican), and I think this is important, of course.”

On the other hand, Reuters quoted a Spanish government source as saying that Madrid intends to supply Ukraine with new air defense systems and anti-drone systems in order to protect energy infrastructure and ports.

The source added that the Spanish army will train Ukrainian forces to use these new systems, and will also provide them with more mine-clearing equipment.

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