Whoever the MP for Timmins-James Bay is after October 21st, he or she is going to get a long list of priorities from Mayor George Pirie.

Right off the top, “the number one immediate problem”, in the mayor’s words, is the city’s homelessness crisis.

“Currently we have a little less than 2,000 individuals that are homeless in this town,” Pirie says. “Ninety percent of them are from communities up the (James Bay) coast.  They’re indigenous from communities up the coast.”

As homeless people, they fall through the cracks.  As indigenous people, they’re under federal jurisdiction, so don’t qualify for provincial funding to help them.

“I’ve mentioned this to our current MP and MPP,” the mayor notes, “ and we’ve got to activate or we’ve got to enlist the senior levels of government in this funding to help us deal with the issues or course that these individuals arrive in our communities with.”