Home / BCCLA and Pivot Urge Province of BC to Halt Illegal Eviction of Abbotsford Lonzo Park Encampment

BCCLA and Pivot Urge Province of BC to Halt Illegal Eviction of Abbotsford Lonzo Park Encampment

The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) and Pivot Legal Society (“Pivot”) are urging Minister of Housing, Ravi Kahlon, to stop the eviction of the Lonzo Park Encampment (the “Encampment”) in the City of Abbotsford planned for today. In our open letter to the Minister, we write that forcefully evicting encampment residents when there are inadequate housing options available is illegal.

Just prior to the forced eviction of the East Hastings encampment in April 2023, the BCCLA and Pivot made a joint submission to the Federal Housing Advocate (FHA) outlining the human rights violations committed by the City of Vancouver. Minister Kahlon responded to our submission, stating that the Province “understand[s] the importance of ensuring people sheltering in encampments are safe, healthy and treated with dignity.”

In direct contradiction to the commitments set out in Belonging in BC: a collaborative plan to prevent and reduce homelessness, the Province and Minister Kahlon are supportive of the City of Abbotsford in deciding to evict the residents of the Encampment. The residents say they have not received offers of alternative housing, and neither the City nor the Province have released any documentation of the availability of shelter or housing to those being evicted.

Forced evictions inherently violate the dignity of residents and constitute a violation of domestic and international human rights law, including the right to housing and standards of procedural fairness as articulated in the National Housing Strategy Act and Bamberger v. Vancouver (Board of Parks and Recreation). Moreover, forced evictions are a manifestation of on-going settler-colonialism and legislated poverty.

We call on Minister Kahlon and the Province to uphold the promises they have made by ending their support for the impending eviction of the Encampment by the City of Abbotsford and responsibly use its authority to hold municipalities accountable for perpetuating human rights violations.


Joint Submission to the Federal Housing Advocate

Response from the Hon. Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing

Open Letter to Hon. Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing