Intelligarde Security’s Mission: Arrest Homeless, Panhandlers, Referred to as Dirty Bums

A Chinese Gentleman Panhandling on Spadina

A Chinese Gentleman Panhandling on Spadina

Sunmedia, Toronto – Aug.21, 2008 Toronto Sun, by Ian Robertson, Headline: Dirty bum gets tossed

“A panhandler who refused to leave private property after messing his shorts was among 11 rousted at the start of a second week of controversial Chinatown security patrols. The beggar, who refused to stop appealing to passersby for money near Spadina Ave. after he “soiled his silks,” was arrested by Intelligarde Security officers Tuesday, firm founder Ross McLeod said…

Toronto Police Association president Dave Wilson is quoted as saying [private guards] lack the training, dedication and experience of cops. Unlike police, an unarmed uniformed guard can incite people to fight “and we don’t want to be showing up at incidents and having to worry about security guards as well.”… [end of excerpt ]

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Here at Project417, I have almost ten years of experience doing outreach to the homeless on the Spadina Chinatown streets. The accompanying photo was taken by me on Spadina, just south of Kensington Market, to illustrate the growing number of elderly Chinese-Canadians who have been forced by community circumstances to resort to panhandling. Of course homelessness knows no race and the homeless panhandlers in Chinatown come from all communties right across the country, but there are a growing number of seniors in Chinatown who appear to have no visible means of support and have taken to the streets.

The threat to public safety through the presence of hired private security firms is real. As well as the assault on human rights, not just of the homeless, but the public who are being confronted and intimidated by what amounts to uniformed thugs on public city sidewalks. Chinatown BIA President, Stephen Chan claims the homeless are blocking doors, aggressively panhandling passers by and even says they are responsible for thefts from cars. The BIA is blind to the real crime problems in their own community and are misguided in targetting the homeless – my next post will outline alarming crime trends in the Spadina Chinatown as well as first hand encounters with Intelligarde bullies.

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4 Responses

  1. Had a good comment come in from one of our homeless friends most affected by the recent action:

    “From: anonymous

    I’VE SAID IT BEFORE AND I’LL SAY IT AGAIN AND I’LL CONTINUE SAYING IT:

    THE GOVERNMENTS, THE POLICE, LAW & ALL POLITICIANS DO NOTHING BUT MAKE PEOPLE’S LIVES A LIVING HELL.

    THEY DON’T EVEN PROVIDE A SHELTER FOR US AND THEY HAVE THE BA**S TO MAKE DECISIONS AND JUDGEMENTS OVER US.

    COPS ARE NO MORE THAN TO SERVE & ARREST, NOT PROTECT, THEY DON’T PROTECT!

    IT’S ALL IN THE HANDS OF GOD PEOPLE, SO WHILE THEY ENJOY THEIR FUN, WHEN THE LORD’S READY FOR US, WE ALL HAVE TO BE PREPARED!”

    [From Intelligarde Security’s Mission: Arrest Homeless, Panhandlers, Referred to as Dirty Bums, 2008/08/27 at 4:12 PM]

    …well said brother!

  2. you’re not a bum, you’re a person with a great big heart! who is a living human being!!! they’re the true bums the ones with the badges and the smiling suits, they need people too be bums so they can have their jobs or they too will end up on the same street getting harassed by the ones they knew before. Welcome to the real truth! stay warm an full! god bless and protect!

  3. The whole article is extremely misguided from start to finish!
    Take some personal responsability and stop blaming the world for your ills in life.

    This whole article smacks of political manouvering by a small special interest group, who most likely DO NOT represent the target group at all!

  4. I published your comment Charles, just to show folks the type of vitriol the homeless are constantly subject to. And you do realize you’re ranting about a three year old posting right? Whatever – as for your comment that the article is by a small special interest group: the majority of the article is a direct excerpt from the Toronto Sun, date and source given. With a readership in the millions hardly a special interest group. The Sun quotes the Toronto Police Association – the largest such association in Canada. My opinions in the article are given both as a member of Project417, who have mobilized more than fifty thousand caring volunteers in the GTA, and as a former Federal peace officer with responsibility in policing public facilities. I’ll say it again – private security firms have no place in public space like city sidewalks and the true crime problems in Chinatown do not originate with the homeless.

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