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Oppenheimer Park decision on tent city expected Wednesday

UPDATE: Occupants of Vancouver’s homeless encampment will soon find out if they are able to keep living in Oppenheimer Park. Today BC’s Supreme Court is considering the city’s application for an injunction. A decision on the matter is expected Wednesday.

The Pivot Legal Society is fighting the application saying it’s not right to kick people out of the park if they have nowhere else to live. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson insists the campers have other options.

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The City of Vancouver will have to wait to find out whether or not it can dismantle the homeless encampment at Oppenheimer Park.

A B.C Supreme Court judge has adjourned the city’s request for an injunction until Monday, October 6.

In the meantime, the judge is considering several conditions that campers must abide by in the meantime to address safety concerns.

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The judge is considering an order to remove all heat sources and open flames from the park by 7 p.m. Tuesday, and all tarps by 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Activist Audrey Segal told the court that “sacred fire” is important and necessary for the camp.

A lawyer for the city also told the court that off-leash dogs are a major source of conflict at the camp.

The city recently decided to crack down on the encampment, which has been in place since July. About 200 tents are set up in the park, with tent city residents saying the conditions in the park are better than their rooms in nearby SROs, many of which are infested with pests.

However, the City, Police and Fire say the camp has become a major safety and health concern, with reports of assaults, weapons, drug use and general disorder. Neighbours are also complaining that they can no longer use the park.

Debate: Solution for homelessness on Vancouver streets?

The BC Supreme Court decision to remove the homeless tent city that’s taken over Oppenheimer Park will get underway tomorrow morning. City councillors Geoff Meggs and George Affleck debate the solution on BC1.

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