The general manager of the Vancouver Park Board says homeless campers won’t be forced from the west side of Strathcona Park on Wednesday, despite a deadline to move.
“We’re not going to get everybody out by the deadline tonight,” Donnie Rosa told CKNW’s Lynda Steele Show.
“We knew it probably wouldn’t be a hard deadline, but we know that we’re not going to stop until we get the west side back to the community.”
Rosa estimated the process would be accomplished over the “next few days.”
The park board posted the order last week in an effort to clear half the park for remediation while BC Housing and the province work to find housing for all homeless people sheltering at the nine-month-old encampment.
Rosa said staff had been in the park and working with the estimated 16 people still camped out on the west side of the park, who she described as “receptive.”
“We went around to each one of the folks who were sheltering the and explained it to them and said, hey, what do you need and how can we help you?”
“We want to do this in a humane way.”
Fences, signs up to clear half of Strathcona Park tent city
Rosa said once people have been moved to the east side of the park, city staff will enforce a bylaw preventing anyone from camping out on the west side of the park.
Provincial officials have set a target of the end of April to find housing or shelter for everyone in the park.
Rosa said once that process has been accomplished, the park board is willing to seek an injunction to force anyone that refuses to leave the park to go.
“At some point we will have to look at that option, and it’s certainly within our toolbox of things to do,” she said.
“But it’s going to be the last resort.”
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