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Residents of new Vancouver tent city say relations improving with city

Vancouver tent city obeys eviction order… and moves to another location
Wed, Jun 28: Just ahead of an eviction order deadline, the residents of Vancouver’s so-called “10 year tent city” packed up and moved to another location. Nadia Stewart explains why many turned down shelter space.

It’s been four days since Vancouver’s newest tent city sprung up, but residents say they’ve already noticed an improvement in relations with the city.

Homeless campers set up at the new site near an East Vancouver sugar refinery on Monday, after being served an injunction at another tent city on Main Street.

Campers have now set up 19 tents at the site they’re calling ‘Sugar Mountain.’

Joyce, a resident at the camp, said she was surprised to see that there are now City of Vancouver trash bins and portable toilets at the site too.

Joyce said she moved from the old ‘Ten-Year’ tent city to ‘Sugar Mountain’ after campers were served with an injunction.
Joyce said she moved from the old ‘Ten-Year’ tent city to ‘Sugar Mountain’ after campers were served with an injunction. Jeremy Lye / CKNW

“They weren’t going to allow the permit to come through, and then we got two dropped off yesterday morning. So maybe something got worked out, I’m not quite sure,” she said.

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“To go to the bathroom around here it’s the gas station, right? And it’s a little bit away so the port-a-potties are a big help here.”

READ MORE: Activist group says City of Vancouver needs to do more for 10-Year tent city residents

Activist group Alliance Against Displacement said it tried to get a permit for the toilets on Wednesday but was denied.

It said something changed at city hall Thursday, when it was told it could have the facilities, so long as it paid for them.

The move has campers feeling more hopeful, and Joyce said she has the feeling the city will tolerate the tent city for the time being.

“They’re being more agreeable because they’re not planning to build anything [on the site] as we know yet. So the city did drop by yesterday and dropped off garbage cans and recycling bins, but they really haven’t said much about it.”

Homeless campers at the Main Street site were served an injunction after the property, which is owned by the city, was leased out to a non-profit group which indicated plans to use the site.

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The city had failed on a prior attempt to evict the campers, when a BC Supreme Court judge ruled the city couldn’t prove that campers would cause irreparable harm to the property and that they had nowhere else to go.

CKNW has reached out to the city for comment.

-With files from Jeremy Lye