Advocates for homeless people say their local government sent the wrong message after it moved benches following complaints from businesses.

The two benches located at Pine Street and Third Avenue in Timmins, Ont., were moved after a complaint from the city’s Business Improvement Area.

Mayor Steve Black said his goal is to support the businesses. He said that people congregating around those benches were “approaching customers” and those customers were “not comfortable.”

Jason Sereda of the Homeless Coalition of Timmins said that “pushing the problem somewhere else or labelling people who are homeless as part of the problem doesn’t accomplish anything.”