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.

Just Posted

Fraser Health patients to see 23% hike in knee, hip replacement surgeries

New approach will see first-available surgeon waitlists

PHOTOS: Sun shines down on Surrey’s Vaisakhi parade

Surrey celebration considered the biggest in North America and one of the largest outside India

Surrey RCMP responding to report of stabbing in Whalley

Incident near 104th Avenue and 125th Street

OK to sacrifice density for trees: Hayne

Council refers South Surrey townhouse project back to staff

South Surrey filmmaker receives Sovereign Medal

Alison MacLean, director of Burkas2Bullets, honoured for volunteerism by Governor General

VAISAKHI: A Surrey piper’s musical harmony

Music director for Crossroads United Church in North Delta plays flute for Indian Standard Time

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

One person arrested after man killed in Vancouver

Police say this is Vancouver’s seventh murder of 2018

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Downtown roads closed for Vancouver Sun Run

Thousands of runners participate in the annual event

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

Most Read