(Photo of Mark Arcand.)

One week after Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand blasted a city Councillor for comments made regarding the Emergency Wellness Centre, that Councillor is now calling for a review of homelessness in Saskatoon.

Ward 3 Councillor David Kirton told CTV Saskatoon there needs to be an understanding of where vulnerable people go and for experts and government officials to create a plan.

“A review would have looked at what happens to that person. If that person is kicked out of the shelter, where does that person go,” asked Kirton. “We have a shelter that’s been placed into a neighbourhood that is too big. I hope that what is going on in that shelter is saving lives.”

Last month, Kirton sent a letter to the provincial government calling for more support toward homelessness in Saskatoon. He asked the Ministry of Social Services to change regulations to social income assistance programs, which would see rent directly paid to the landlord, instead of relying on the renter to pay.

Arcand replied to Kirton’s letter stating he was “blind-sided” by it. “My so-called partners in the City of Saskatoon and Ward 3 Councillor David Kirtan never even gave me a courtesy call about this letter,” said Arcand. “I was blindsided this morning about this letter and I have no part in this because I believe we have a strong relationship with the Province of Saskatchewan in battling homelessness.,” Arcand told reporters May 3.

Arcand called on Councillor David Kirton to put forward a motion for the City of Saskatoon to invest $1.5 million into the STC Emergency Wellness Centre for operating costs.

“He’s got to start doing action instead of complaining, because right now he’s not helping the problem – he is actually fanning the flames, which is not right, he’s playing politics with people’s lives,” said Arcand.

Kirton told CTV Saskatoon that the residents of the Fairhaven neighboourhood, where the Emergency Wellness Center is located that he has received positive feedback for the concerns he is raising. While Kirton admits, Saskatoon does have a role to play with the Emergency Wellness Centre, he said the city is in deficit, suggesting the province pick up the tab.

“If the Tribal Chief is willing and I mean seriously willing to work with the residents of Fairhaven for solutions, I’m willing to make that motion,” explained Kirton.

(With files from Joel Willick.)