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Joint letter to Vancouver Park Board on by-law amendment regarding sheltering in parks

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The BCCLA, Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), and Pivot Legal Society are calling the Vancouver Park Board to adjourn the enactment of the proposed Shelter in Parks Amendments and to adopt a policy of non-displacement from all Parks under Park Board jurisdiction. The proposed amendments continue to be inherently counter to human rights and the basic dignity of people sheltering outside.

The Shelters in Parks Amendments as resolved on July 14, 2020 replicates many harms, including:

  • The definition of homelessness does not reflect the current state of the law.
  • Only permitting overnight shelter from dusk (currently 9:40 p.m.) until 7:00 a.m., not only continues the undeniable harm of daily displacement but also falls short of the standard set in Abbotsford (City) v Shantz, 2015 BCSC 1909 (7:00 pm and 9:00 a.m.).
  • There is vague and ill-defined language which provides unclear and unmanageable direction to homeless people seeking shelter about eligible sheltering areas.
  • There are untenable restrictions regarding shelters including a total prohibition on warming devices and a requirement to be with one’s tent at all times.

Read the full letter here.