Eviction at Discontent City in Nanaimo delayed until end of November

Eviction at Discontent City in Nanaimo delayed until end of November

Nanaimo's tent city will not be shut down until Nov. 30, 2018. File photo.

Nanaimo’s tent city will not be shut down until Nov. 30, 2018. File photo.

Homeless campers at Discontent City in Nanaimo will not need to leave the camp until the end of November.

On Friday afternoon, BC Supreme Court Justice Ronald Skolrood granted an application for an extension to comply with an injunction against Discontent City. The tent city legal representative Noah Ross had asked for an extension until Dec. 31 after the 170 temporary modular units are open. The province purchased property for 80 units at 250 Terminal Avenue and the city provided land at 2020 Labieux Road for another 90 units. At that time, the provincial government said both projects were expected to be completed by late November 2018.

Residents can remain at the encampment until Nov. 30, but there are some conditions.

The conditions include:

1. No vehicles, trailers or structures permitted on the site, effective immediately.

2. No one under 19 years of age is permitted on the site, effective immediately.

3. Fire service orders from May 30 and Sept. 13, can be enforced except for removal of tarps beginning Oct. 25

4. Beginning Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. any occupant who is genuinely homeless and seeks transition to housing (qualifying occupant) must identify themselves to the city, BC Housing or its agents with photo identification or if they don’t have ID, by agreeing to be photographed and providing their full legal name.

5. By 5 p.m. Friday, Oct.26, all occupants except qualifying occupants must vacate the property. Anyone who remains will be escorted off the property by the city, RCMP or its employees.

6. All occupants, including qualifying occupants, must vacate by 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.

“The court recognizes the public safety hazards on the site and disruption to neighbouring residents and businesses and has given us some tools to alleviate the stress on people inside and around the camp,” Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay said in a statement. “The conditions will help Fire Safety, Bylaws enforcement and police tackle some of the major public safety concerns and give us some tools to control who lives there.”

On Sept. 21, Skolrood ordered Discontent City to be shut down citing numerous safety concerns on the site. . He gave the Discontent City residents 21 days to vacate but Ross requestion a hearing for an extension.

Nanaimo City Council voted to oppose the further extension on Oct. 16. However, the city was seeking conditions to improve public safety and prevent more people from moving into 1 Port Drive if a deadline extension was granted.

The encampment was set up at 1 Port Drive in May. Beginning Friday, BC Housing is providing 24/7 security along the perimeter until the camp is closed.

With files from Nanaimo News Now


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