WATCH: The court-imposed deadline for everyone to move out of tent city has come and gone but dozens of campers are still there. April Lawrence reports.
Tarps and tents were being removed Monday as a few more people moved out of tent city and into a new supportive housing facility on Johnson Street.
The provincial government said about 70 people have moved out of tent city in the past week.
But a rough count by camp supporters suggested there were still about 50 people living at the courthouse property on the day a B.C. Supreme Court Justice ordered that everyone be gone.
Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson said in his July 5 decision:”As housing becomes available, and by not later than August 8, 2016, the defendants shall remove all structures, tents, shelters, objects and things owned, constructed, maintained, placed or occupied by them which are located at the Encampment, and otherwise cease to occupy or reside at the Encampment.”
Tent city residents said the 147 unit Johnson Street Care Home facility just isn’t ready — Mikey Hennings said his friend was turned away.
“She got down to that place, down to Johnson Street there and they were like um we’re not quite ready maybe go back to tent city and occupy your tent and she just started crying,” he said.
For those who live in the area surrounding tent city, who have been waiting for this day for the past nine months, the delay is disappointing.
“It’s ridiculous why should we put up with this more and more every day, day after day I mean it’s frustrating everybody here is just so upset it’s unreal,” said Don Allen, the building manager of a nearby apartment.
One thing both sides agree on is that the province is to blame.
“They had to have known that August 8th was pretty unrealistic,” said camp supporter Chrissy Brett.
“Why would you just continue to play with them and expect them to get ready and wait, get ready and wait, get ready and wait,” she questioned.
B.C.’s Housing Minister Rich Coleman said the move out is going so well they don’t want to take any drastic action.
“While we’re respectful of the court’s deadline we recognize it would be a mistake to rush this move because it’s going so well so we’re going to continue to work with those that are cooperative,” he said.
The province said it’s not aware of anyone being turned away from Central Care Home.
But Coleman admits the renovation is taking longer than expected, putting the move-in plans a couple of days behind.