Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley and MLA Janis Irwin (Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood) said the provincial government needs to stop the Edmonton Police Service from removing tent cities. “The people being displaced are our neighbours,” said Notley and Irwin in a Friday statement. “They have nowhere to go.”.In Edmonton, Notley and Irwin said there are at least 3,100 homeless people, with many on the front lines suggesting the number is higher. However, they said there are 1,126 shelter spaces available in Edmonton. They called for the Alberta government “to guarantee a safe place for every person impacted before police take action.” Wholesale razing of homeless encampments puts people’s lives in danger. Even if there were enough shelter spaces to accommodate people being displaced, many of them say they feel unsafe in those shelters. The Alberta government has not commented on minimum shelter standards. It knew winter was coming. While it refused to act, it made cuts to affordable housing and refused to make budget improvements to areas such as permanent supportive housing. During encampment sweeps, Notley and Irwin said there is a greater risk of overdoses and more people needing medical care for frostbite, hypothermia and other effects caused by exposure to the elements. Last year, Alberta had a record number of amputations due to frostbite and deaths of homeless Albertans on the streets because they had no place to go. They alleged community disruptions caused by encampment closures puts indigenous people, women and non-binary people at greater risk. To fight homelessness, they said the Alberta government must spend on more housing, including permanent, supportive housing; bridge units; and safe, accessible shelter spaces. Notley and Irwin concluded by saying people “must stop criminalizing poverty as a province and a community.”“We can’t enforce our way out of the housing crisis,” they said. Tents returned to Mary Burlie Park in July days after the City of Edmonton removed a homeless encampment that took it over. READ MORE: THEY'RE BACK: Tents already appearing again in cleaned-up Edmonton parkCity of Edmonton crews donned white hazmat suits as the tents were torn down, and the items were added to a dumpster and garbage trucks brought along. Three days later, five tents were set back up in Mary Burlie Park.