VIDEO: Maple Ridge tent city lawyers suing province

VIDEO: Maple Ridge tent city lawyers suing province

Pivot Legal says people in Maple Ridge camp have nowhere to go

Lawyers for the Anita Place Tent City are now taking on the province, saying Thursday they’ve filed court proceedings against Victoria.

Residents at Anita's Place Tent City deliver a statement, hours after announcing they are taking the province to court. SEE MORE: http://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/tent-city-lawyers-taking-on-the-province/

Posted by The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News on Thursday, June 29, 2017

“On any given night, 35,000 people in Canada will be homeless; thousands will have no other option but to live in parks and other public spaces,” D.J. Larkin, with Pivot Legal Society, said Thursday.

“For many, homelessness is an early death sentence. We know that homeless people have about half the life-expectancy as people who are housed. Ensuring that everyone in B.C. has access to adequate housing is the right thing, the smartest thing, and the cost effective thing to do for all British Columbians.”

She cited the province’s abandonment of two possible sites last year that could have been locations for shelters or supportive housing complex for which B.C. Housing is providing $15 million.

Former Liberal MLAs Doug Bing and Marc Dalton opposed those sites, both on Lougheed Highway, following public protests and petitions.

The society has added the provincial government to the list in its litigation with the City of Maple Ridge. The society is fighting an injunction application by the city to clear the camp. However, Maple Ridge has said it’s pausing its application.

Pivot is arguing the province is putting the safety and liberty of homeless people at risky “actively creating the conditions” that led to the camp.

One of the camp residents, Dwayne Martin, said people can’t find housing based on income assistance levels. A single person gets a maximum of $610 a month.

Both NDP and Liberals have promised to raise those rates.

“We are tired of being kicked out of every doorway. We are just trying to protect ourselves from the weather, violence, from having every last thing we own taken away.”

Ivan Drury, with the Alliance Against Displacement, which organized the camp, said without senior government help, nothing will change.

“The province is responsible for every gap here.”

Drury is expected to announce today, at 1 p.m., a plan for the voluntary dispersal of the camp.

Pivot Legal said previous court rulings have shown that governments can’t clear tent cities unless there’s housing or shelter for people to go.

The camp still doesn’t have portable washrooms, which the city will now allow after forcing the removal of ones placed there before.

“We still don’t have the outhouses. We still don’t have garbage pickup,” said Amber Blais, at teh camp.

Garbage is accumulating at the camp and beginning to smell.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP don’t want to see you having your vehicle towed away after an aggressive driving infraction. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP hand out more than 500 tickets in aggressive driving crackdown

Police say they’ll continue to focus on speeding, aggressive and distracted driving

Home sales for November in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board were profitable for sellers because of historically low supply. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)
Historically low supply leads to higher prices in Chilliwack real estate market

City dwellers want to relocate to the eastern Fraser Valley and are willing to pay a high price

Riders will need to don face coverings to ski and snowboard at Manning this winter. (Manning Park Resort photo)
Manning Park slopes open early

Early season snowfall allowed for opening this weekend, 56 centimetre snow base recorded Nov. 30

Mr. Bergen, a statue of a working man, was stolen from a porch in Popkum on Nov. 18, along with a marble statue. (Submitted photo)
Heavy statue and fountain thieved off porch in Popkum

Rightful owner has had statue for 27 years and wants it returned

The winning home of the 2019 Hope Christmas Lights contest was on Cypress Street. Residents have until Dec. 5 to sign their street up for this year’s contest. (Submitted photo)
Holiday cheer, even in a pandemic year

Here’s what is happening in Hope and area as the holiday season kicks off

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon following a reported police incident. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Federal offender escapes, gets shot at and is taken back into custody in Abbotsford

Several branches of law enforcement find escapee a short distance from where he fled

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Lefeuvre Road, near Myrtle Avenue, was blocked to traffic on Thursday (Dec. 3) after an abandoned pickup truck was found on fire. Police are investigating to determine if there are any links to a killing an hour earlier in Surrey. (Shane MacKichan photo)
Torched truck found in Abbotsford an hour after killing in Surrey

Police still investigating to determine if incidents are linked

Surrey Pretrial centre in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Pretrial hit with human rights complaint over mattress

The inmate who lodged the complaint said he needed a second mattress to help him manage his arthritis

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Most Read