Oshawa. Ontario. In June 2020 the municipal government of Oshawa unanimously voted to hire a private security firm “CDN Protection”. All private security and police are a bad thing but CDN is especially reactionary. The company has ties to white supremacists such as Faith Goldy. They use dogs that are trained in the same manner as police dogs and are used to intimidate the homeless. There is also video evidence of CDN filming people in distress and mocking their mental health. CDN will intimidate clients trying to access harm reduction services in Oshawa. It has recently been brought to attention that they even steal possessions from people living on the streets. These wannabe cops are not welcome in our community, despite public outrage the government will not back down on their decision to hire the company.
Originally published by Northshore Info.
The past year Oshawa’s left has been uniting to get CDN removed from our city. City councillor Derek Giberson has been stepping up his game to back the decision to hire CDN. Giberson even gave CDN office space in a local hub for the homeless. CDN are banning homeless people from attending this hub, which is one of the only services in Oshawa for those living on the street and in tent cities to access food and clothing. CDN recently got some bad publicity for intimidating a homeless man with their dog while patrolling. After the video got national attention CDN said they won’t use dogs to patrol anymore but they are still using them to intimidate clients at the hub. All community-based support, outreach and food programs have been banned under a municipal bylaw. Mutual aid tactics such as Food Not Bombs and Community Fridges are not allowed to operate under these bylaws. The local government is creating a monopoly on food services and street outreach thereby increasing their stranglehold on Oshawa’s most vulnerable populations.
This is an attack on the homeless and those living with addictions. On Thursday April 22 2021, a makeshift memorial was bulldozed by the city. This memorial was started by vulnerable people to honour those who have died from addiction, especially the opioid crisis. In 2019 the city also vetoed a call for a safe injection site despite other harm reduction services in Oshawa saying one is desperately needed. Rather than responding to the housing and addiction crisis with compassion the government has responded with callous heartlessness.
The CDN contract is coming up for renewal. While all private security is a move towards gentrification (another serious problem in Oshawa), a white supremacist backed security company is the worst thing the city can hire. We are hoping to bring more attention to the issue and push
for CDN to be removed and stop any other form of private security from being contracted in Oshawa. Policing of any kind will not end poverty, only community support, community lead food services, housing and increased harm reduction will serve our community. This isn’t about charity; this is about our community uniting. We do not need the government to solve these issues, we need community and working class support to empower ourselves.