UPDATE: Lawyers for both the City of Maple Ridge and the campers say they will work together to address “life safety issues” and will not appear Monday in court to make the new agreement legally binding. The city will also look toward working with homeless advocates.
Original story below:
The City of Maple Ridge in Metro Vancouver is heading to the B.C. Supreme Court on Monday to file an injunction against a tent city.
Last month, the city council unanimously voted to go forward with a previously-paused injunction that officials said was on hold when campers were working towards leaving voluntarily.
In a release, Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read said that there has been “no significant movement towards a decampment.”
The protest camp was a reaction to the closure of the only low barrier homeless shelter in Maple Ridge in May earlier this year.
The original injunction proposed in May cited noise, odours, human waste and hypodermic needles as the main causes for action by the city. Mayor Read says that fire officials and police report that the safety of the camp and the surrounding neighbourhood has further deteriorated in recent weeks.
In July a B.C. judge granted a similar injunction for the tent city on the lawn of Victoria’s courthouse, citing unsafe conditions.
Lawyers are representing camp residents and say in court documents say that dismantling the tent city will cause significant harm due to the lack of shelter spaces or affordable housing in Maple Ridge.
With files from the Canadian Press and CBC