People lineup at a hotel for the homeless before the 8 p.m. COVID-19 curfew on Jan. 11, 2021, in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

People lineup at a hotel for the homeless before the 8 p.m. COVID-19 curfew on Jan. 11, 2021, in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Montreal mayor wants homeless exempted from curfew in wake of Innu man’s death

Montreal’s mayor is calling on the provincial government to exempt homeless people from the provincewide pandemic curfew.

Valerie Plante made the request today following the weekend death of Raphael “Napa” Andre, a 51-year-old Innu man found dead in a portable toilet not far from a homeless shelter he frequented.

Andre often spent time at a day centre for the homeless called The Open Door, which was forced to close its overnight service last month following a COVID-19 outbreak.

He visited the centre Saturday evening and was found dead Sunday morning, after the shelter had closed.

Plante says the curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. — scheduled to last until at least Feb. 8 — is creating an untenable situation for the city’s most vulnerable.

The mayor says on most nights the city’s overnight shelters are either at 95 per cent capacity or filled up.

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