Rail campers displaced from Surrey parks

Surrey bylaw official says the city has to work a delicate balance in keeping everyone safe

Homeless people setting up camp near railway tracks are believed to have been displaced from Newton parks.

Surrey’s manager of bylaw enforcement Jas Rehal said summer has brought on significant activity in Newton green spaces, particularly Unwin Park (13313 68 Ave.) and Hyland Park (6542 138 St.).

“What’s happened is we’ve been doing some enforcement over the park lands,” Rehal said Wednesday. “I think we’ve displaced them from the parks, and then they went toward the railway tracks.”

About three months ago, Southern Rail of British Columbia (SRBC) noticed homeless camps along it’s rail line through Newton, particularly from 64 Avenue and 152 Street to 72 Avenue and King George Boulevard.

A large camp was also found by the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

J. Singh Biln, director of community relations for SRBC said it’s of great concern to the railway because people could get hurt.

“It’s really just the last three months that it’s really, really increased significantly,” Biln told The Leader Wednesday.”It’s so dangerous to be near trains.”

He said it’s too frequent that it happens where people throughout the world are injured or killed by trains.

Just last fall, near Old Yale and South Fraser Perimeter Road, there was such a tragedy.

“We had some young people who had been partying up by the (Fraser) river, and they went for a joyride on a train,” Biln said. “And a young lady – 16 years old – lost her arm above the elbow.”

Railway staff are all too aware similar injuries or worse could happen any time.

Biln and Rehal are working together to bring an end to the rail encampments.

Rehal said the challenge is keeping them from going to the train tracks, while not having them in city parks when they are being used by kids.

Rehal said the best of all situations is to find them housing, but he notes some of the people are resistant to offers of permanent shelter.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Investigators placed dozens of yellow evidence markers on the ground near the site of a fatal shooting in Langley City early Wednesday morning. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: 22-year-old man killed in targeted shooting in Langley

South Surrey vehicle fire may be linked to homicide: police

Surrey-raised actor Michael Coleman in some of the roles he’s played since the mid-1990s. (submitted photo)
Chat with Robin Williams helped send Surrey’s Coleman into world of acting

‘For me, it was a game-changer,’ says co-founder of Story Institute acting school

Friends and family of Paul Prestbakmo (from left: Barbara Calder, Leah Charles, Jimmy Slater, Angela Prestbakmo and Liz Prestbakmo) gather outside Surrey Provincial Court on Tuesday (Jan. 26, 2021). (Tracy Holmes photo)
South Surrey murder victim stabbed 42 times: pathologist

RCMP digital-evidence specialist also among witnesses

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
OUR VIEW: Surrey’s public hearings are for being heard

Surrey public hearings of late have been devolving into something less than intended

The White Birch proposal for a six-storey rental-only building at 1485 Fir St. was turned down by council on Monday night. (Contributed rendering)
White Birch developer feels ‘betrayed’ by City of White Rock council

Application for new rental building at 1485 Fir St. turned down by council

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

SAR crews worked late into the night Tuesday to rescue an injured snowboarder in North Vancouver. (Facebook/North Shore Rescue)
Complicated, dangerous rescue saves man in avalanche near Cypress Mountain

North Shore SAR team braves considerable conditions to reach injured snowboarder

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in waters south of Vancouver Island

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

In this undated image made from a video taken by the Duke of Sussex and posted on @SaveChildrenUK by the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, shows the Duchess of Sussex reading the book “Duck! Rabbit!” to their son Archie who celebrates his first birthday on Wednesday May 6, 2020. The Canadian Paediatric Society is reminding families that the process of raising a reader starts from birth. (Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK)
Canadian Paediatric Society says raising a reader starts from birth

CPS says literacy is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong health outcomes

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough responds to a question during a news conference Thursday August 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Easing rules for parental benefits created inequities among parents, documents say

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough’s office says the government will make any necessary changes

People walk along a pedestrianized zone of Sainte-Catherine street in Montreal, Monday, May 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Newly released statistics point to a major drop in police-recorded crime during the first eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Crime down in first 8 months of pandemic, but mental health calls rise: StatCan

The agency says violent crimes such as assault dropped significantly

Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes confirms 1st death amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

Shelter-in-place order has been extended to Feb. 5

(Pixabay)
B.C. teacher gets 1 day suspension after ‘aggressively’ throwing dumbbell at student

Documents show the weight would have hit the student if they didn’t catch it

Most Read