'Stigmatizing' benches installed in Cabot Square to be removed immediately: Plante
Benches installed in Montreal's Cabot Square on Wednesday / Photo by Sheila Woodhouse, co-manager of Resilience Montreal.
MONTREAL -- Benches installed in Cabot Square on Wednesday will be "immediately removed," Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante tweeted on Thursday.
The benches – marked with the words "15 minute rest" – are separated into three distinct seats by metal armrests, making it impossible for a person to lie down, should they want to. Cabot Square is a popular resting area among people experiencing homelessness in the city, with a women's shelter located just a block away.
"These are the old benches set up by the previous administration that I have extensively condemned," Plante said. "This bench has no place in the vicinity of Cabot Square because it contributes to the stigmatization of people experiencing homelessness."
Plante added that as a city, there's still work to do to make public spaces inclusive and that she’s "in this battle."
The director of Montreal’s Native Women’s shelter, Nakuset, tweeted a photo of the new benches Thursday morning, captioned "No resting allowed at Cabot Square."