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Local religious leader upset with city councillor’s social media posts

A local religious leader is calling out a city councillor for her behaviour on social media.

Kevin George, a priest at St. Aidan's Anglican Church, is calling on London City Council to take action after Ward 4 Coun. Susan Stevenson posted her frustration with the city's homelessness crisis on social media. The post was centralized on her ward of Old East Village — one of the most impacted neighbourhoods in the city.

The posts included photos of people experiencing homelessness with their faces exposed.

“For an elected official, putting the lives of some of the city's most vulnerable citizens in danger. Because what she's doing is enflaming those who are ill-informed to start with, and encouraging behaviour which is inappropriate towards our most vulnerable citizens,” said George.

George believes it's fanning the flames of a polarizing and complicated situation.

A social media post by London Coun. Susan Stevenson, originally posted on Sept. 23, 2023. (Source: Susan Stevenson/X) “I've befriended a couple of homeless folks who have been going through an incredibly hard time who have people throwing feces at them, who have been pulled out of local restaurant bathrooms by other patrons and punched, who don't receive call-backs from police, who have been dealing with all kinds of issues because of this sort of inflammatory rhetoric," he added.

Council endorsed the Whole of Community Response to Homelessness which would create 600 supportive housing units and up to 15 low barrier service hubs.

Last week, Stevenson spoke to CTV News London and expressed skepticism about the first hub locations. CTV News London reached out to her for comment on these social media posts, but did not hear back in time of publication.

George believes elected officials have a responsibility to handle these situations with more sensitivity, which he penned in a letter posted to social media, asking city council to hold Stevenson accountable.

London, Ont. Ward 4 Councillor Susan Stevenson is seen in this undated image. (CTV News file photo) "I'm calling on the Integrity Commissioner, under section seven of the code, to look at this for what it is: Which is bullying and intimidating behaviour by an elected official, which is putting citizens at threat," he said.

Council's goal is to open the first 100 housing units and three hubs in December. Details including the locations of the first hubs are currently before council for consideration at city hall on Monday night.

Council is expected to make a decision this week. Stevenson is at that meeting.

“She needs to be sanctioned, she certainly needs to be censored, and in an ideal world, she should be suspended," expressed George. Top Stories

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