The B.C. Supreme Court has granted an injunction against a new homeless camp on Port of Vancouver land on downtown Vancouver’s waterfront.
Homeless advocates established the camp in mid-May, after the province shut down the long-running homeless camp in Oppenheimer Park and found temporary housing for 261 occupants.
During court arguments, Vancouver police called for a corresponding enforcement order to go along with any injunction. Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson has asked why his signature on an injunction would not be enough for officers to carry it out.
On Wednesday, Hinkson ruled that campers have 72 hours to pack up and leave the property.
“Police have a duty to uphold” the order, ruled Hinkson, saying an additional enforcement order was not necessary.
The new camp, which has grown to an estimated 80 tents, is located on Waterfront Road between CRAB Park and the Helijet terminal.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has argued that the occupants refuse to leave, and has cited growing issues with public urination and defecation, discarded needles and noise.
At least one resident disputes BC Housing’s assertion that all Oppenheimer Park residents were offered alternative housing. Lawyers for the campers have argued that the encampment is safer than sleeping on the streets or in shelters, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The port filed the injunction application last month, naming camp organizer and homeless-rights activist Chrissy Brett.