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5 May 0201

The Sisters of Providence defend homeless rights in Kingston

While in Quebec various religious communities stand up to defend the rights of prisoner women, the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul have been striving for the respect for the poor and homeless in Kingston.

Last February, the Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL) introduced a new Patron Code of Conduct whose language and policy is exclusionary and discriminatory toward the poor and homeless.

After the release of this document, the Sisters of Providence took up the cause of the vulnerable. It resulted in a public debate about how public spaces and publicly-funded organizations treat those who use their services — even if they are homeless, live on the street, don’t shower regularly or carry their possessions with them.

At a meeting of the Library Board on April 27, the board withdrew its new code. The Library Board has promised to begin formal consultation “as soon as it is feasible”. The previous Code of Conduct will remain in place while this happens.

The Catholic Register reports this story in an article you can read by clicking here.

Here is the letter sent by the Sisters of Providence to the KFPL board (source: www.providence.ca).