VIDEO: Maple Ridge tent city lawyers suing province

VIDEO: Maple Ridge tent city lawyers suing province

Pivot Legal says people in Maple Ridge camp have nowhere to go

Lawyers for the Anita Place Tent City are now taking on the province, saying Thursday they’ve filed court proceedings against Victoria.

Residents at Anita's Place Tent City deliver a statement, hours after announcing they are taking the province to court. SEE MORE: http://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/tent-city-lawyers-taking-on-the-province/

Posted by The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News on Thursday, June 29, 2017

“On any given night, 35,000 people in Canada will be homeless; thousands will have no other option but to live in parks and other public spaces,” D.J. Larkin, with Pivot Legal Society, said Thursday.

“For many, homelessness is an early death sentence. We know that homeless people have about half the life-expectancy as people who are housed. Ensuring that everyone in B.C. has access to adequate housing is the right thing, the smartest thing, and the cost effective thing to do for all British Columbians.”

She cited the province’s abandonment of two possible sites last year that could have been locations for shelters or supportive housing complex for which B.C. Housing is providing $15 million.

Former Liberal MLAs Doug Bing and Marc Dalton opposed those sites, both on Lougheed Highway, following public protests and petitions.

The society has added the provincial government to the list in its litigation with the City of Maple Ridge. The society is fighting an injunction application by the city to clear the camp. However, Maple Ridge has said it’s pausing its application.

Pivot is arguing the province is putting the safety and liberty of homeless people at risky “actively creating the conditions” that led to the camp.

One of the camp residents, Dwayne Martin, said people can’t find housing based on income assistance levels. A single person gets a maximum of $610 a month.

Both NDP and Liberals have promised to raise those rates.

“We are tired of being kicked out of every doorway. We are just trying to protect ourselves from the weather, violence, from having every last thing we own taken away.”

Ivan Drury, with the Alliance Against Displacement, which organized the camp, said without senior government help, nothing will change.

“The province is responsible for every gap here.”

Drury is expected to announce today, at 1 p.m., a plan for the voluntary dispersal of the camp.

Pivot Legal said previous court rulings have shown that governments can’t clear tent cities unless there’s housing or shelter for people to go.

The camp still doesn’t have portable washrooms, which the city will now allow after forcing the removal of ones placed there before.

“We still don’t have the outhouses. We still don’t have garbage pickup,” said Amber Blais, at teh camp.

Garbage is accumulating at the camp and beginning to smell.

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

Just Posted

Federal Conservative leader Erin O’Toole speaks during a virtual South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce town hall on Saturday, March 6, 2021.
O’Toole says South Surrey, White Rock face ‘acute’ challenges during pandemic

Federal Conservative leader speaks at local chamber town hall

A sign encouraging COVID-19 safety steps, with the Bayside rugby clubhouse – located adjacent to Semiahmoo Secondary and the South Surrey track – in background; Jan. 6, 2021. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey sees 2,400 new COVID-19 cases in February

This is the lowest monthly increase since last fall

Liberty roses – created by acclaimed rose breeder Brad Jalbert – will be planted in White Rock later this month. (Contributed photo)
‘Liberty Rose’ to be planted along Johnston Road and at White Rock City Hall

Poppy-like rose created by acclaimed rose breeder Brad Jalbert

South Surrey’s Kirk Arsenault has started a new company, Str8laced, that sells cleat wraps that aim to keep athletes’ shoes from coming untied during games and practices. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey sports equipment entrepreneur tying up loose ends before Alberta move

Str8laced wraps keep laces from coming loose in the middle of play, says Kirk Arsenault

Volunteers from Semiahmoo Secondary joined with members of the Lower Mainland Green Team and the White Rock and South Surrey Naturalists Wednesday to remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park. (Contributed photo)
Students, volunteers remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park

Day-long project a collaboration between city, Lower Mainland Green Team

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

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

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

The family of injured Willoughby resident Ronald Gerald Jesso is hoping someone saw something that will help solve the mystery of how he came to be so badly hurt on the morning of Feb. 22. Jesso is still in hospital. (Jesso family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
An appeal to help solve the mystery of an injured Langley man

Family of Ronald Gerald Jesso asks witnesses to come forward

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Most Read