There is a battle brewing in Duncan after a court ordered that a homeless encampment in a city park be dismantled by Thursday afternoon.
The camp was set up as a temporary protest against the lack of affordable housing in the area.
The homeless and activists that first pitched their tents in Charles Hoey Park on March 31st say they’ll have to be dragged out if the city plans to enforce the order.
“That’s up to the RCMP and the bylaw officers whether they choose to drag us out of our tents,” said Chrissy Brett.
The City of Duncan first asked the campers to clear out before turning to the courts to get an injunction.
The park does allow for overnight camping but all belongings must be packed up and cleared away in the morning.
Now, concerned the encampment may grow into a tent city like the one Victoria struggled with last year, the City says campers have overstayed their welcome.
“We were getting a lot of the community coming to us complaining about what’s happening here,” said Duncan Mayor Phil Kent.
“It’s a very busy area.”
Some sympathize with the protestors call for more affordable housing, a problem made all the more glaring by a new condo complex being built right across from the encampment.
” We have to acknowledge that it’s a real issue,” said local school trustee Joe Thorne.
“You got these people who have nothing. They’ll never be able to afford to walk in that door.”
The injunction the City now wields is no more welcoming, it says the homeless camp has to be dismantled by Thursday at 3 p.m.
The City says there is more than enough room at a local shelter to accommodate all those now living in the park once they’ve left.