VANCOUVER IS THE HOME OF THE FIRST LEGAL TENT CITY IN NORTH AMERICA

vancouver tent city
vancouver tent city

CRAB Park cleanup plans get clearer. (Geoff Sharpe)

What happened: The city has shared more details about the plan to clean up Vancouver’s only permanent and legal encampment at CRAB Park, with the first phase set to begin March 18. But, according to CBC, residents are concerned that the cleanup may lead to a permanent decampment of residents. 
Background: The city has been planning the cleanup for months, citing health and safety concerns. The plans had to recently change as it became clear they needed heavy machinery to clean up the area.
A key difference here from the encampment clearing in the Downtown Eastside last year is that CRAB Park is legally allowed to operate after a court ruling in 2022, where the judge refused to grant an injunction to remove residents, according to Global News. 
Residents will be forced to temporarily move as equipment is brought in to clean up the area. Advocates say that the removal should wait until a court hears their human rights complaint against the city. Currently, there are 30-50 people living in the park, according to the Globe and Mail. 
  • The human rights complaint has been taken up by the BC Human Rights Tribunal, over allegations that the city is discriminating against the group by not giving residents “basic survival services,” according to CBC. 
Further threats: The city‘s key complaint concerns residents bringing in propane tanks, which are dangerous and a fire hazard. The city noted that if the use of propane tanks and similar items continues, the encampment may need to be removed.
History repeats itself: It echoes a similar language used by the city when they shut down the Downtown Eastside Encampment last year. Public safety due to fires, as well as exploding propane tanks, prompted the city to dismantle the tent encampment, according to CityNews.
What it means: The city’s response seems to indicate that they feel they would be able to dismantle the encampment if public safety continues to be an issue. Given the echoes of language used with the Downtown Eastside encampment, it’s an issue that likely isn’t going away.

VANCOUVER TENT CITY

Do you think the city will eventually try to permanently clear out CRAB Park?

No, the court ruling would prevent that
Maybe, it’s hard to tell
Yes, it seems like they’re laying the groundwork to end it

 

SOURCE:  VAN CITY LOOKOUT

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