A month after Maple Ridge city council voted unanimously to remove a homeless camp known as “Anita’s place,” the city has reached an agreement with the lawyers representing its residents.
The city has agreed to stop the injunction against the camp while the province develops a plan to provide housing solutions for the residents, as long as steps are taken to address safety issues at the camp, including regular inspections of the site.
The agreement will be presented at the B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, where a consent order will be requested by the parties to make the agreement binding.
“The City has urged BC Housing to engage in a public dialogue around possible solutions and that this should be done before sites are selected,” read a release from the city.
‘Alliance Against Displacement’ spokesperson Ivan Drury said, “All along we understood that this was a weak case.”
“It was a malicious case that they were making,” he claimed, “that was just based on a sense of hatred and disdain of homeless people in Maple Ridge.”
WATCH: Maple Ridge officials address homeless camp concerns
In October, Mayor Nicole Read had said safety at the camp was a big issue for the city, adding that the safety of residents, officers and paramedics was vital.
Pressure has been building on the homeless issue in Maple Ridge for several years, with campers forced out of another tent city on Cliff Avenue in 2015, and subsequent heated public meetings over the establishment of a temporary shelter.
Earlier this year, Read also took a leave of absence from council after she received personal threats believed to be linked to the controversy over the city’s homeless population.
~With files from Simon Little and Jeremy Lye