Maple Ridge backs down from court action to clear camp

Two-day hearing in Supreme Court cancelled

Maple Ridge is backing down from its pursuit of a court order to clear the Anita Place Tent City in the downtown.

Ivan Drury, with the Alliance Against Displacement, said the City of Maple Ridge has withdrawn its application and there’s no longer any court date.

In a release Wednesday, the city said was only adjourning its action, on condition the camp remain safe and secure and the organizers work towards a voluntary dispersal of the tent camp.

“The injunction application has not been cancelled. Council has taken the opportunity to hit the “pause” button …” said Mayor Nicole Read.

The city is also working with BC Housing and the province to get more social housing here.

The city and lawyers for the tent city, were supposed to meet in Vancouver Supreme Court today, Wednesday, and tomorrow for a two-day hearing on whether the city could get a court order. That had been delayed twice to allow lawyers from both sides to prepare their case. Pivot Legal Society lawyers had collected 40 affidavits supporting the tent city.

The city last week said it was suspending its legal action providing conditions at the camp remained safe. But city councillors at the same time said that legal action hadn’t been suspended.

About 40 people are living in the tent city, along the Haney Bypass.

Drury said Wednesday that the camp opened on May 2 to protest provincial government inaction on homelessness.

He was surprised when city bylaws staff and police on May 11 removed tents from the site, only to have tent city residents reclaim their belongings and re-open the camp. “I didn’t expect the hostility one little bit.”

He’s now glad the city has suspended its court action and the focus is now back on the provincial government where it should have been all along, he said.

The city also will provide porta-potties and garbage collection to the site, he added.

Until now, the city wouldn’t allow porta-potties on the site forcing camp residents to dig their own latrine.

“You can’t avoid use of toilets and you can’t avoid making garbage.

“It’s recognition that people exist, bodily. I think the denial of those basic services up until now for the first two months … is a kind of a sabotage.”

Just Posted

UPDATE: Suspect of interest ID’d after man shot near Surrey school

Police don’t know what motive was in shooting near Surrey-Delta border

Santa pics help Langley charity

The jolly old elf is aiding a scholarship and a sponsored Christmas Bureau family.

Double graves coming to Surrey civic cemeteries for the first time

Surrey council approves cemetery bylaw changes, which will also allow upright headstones

Cloverdale’s Christmas shopping kicks off with Ladies’ Night Out next week

Check out Cloverdale businesses, vendors, and more Thursday, Nov. 30

VIDEO: MP details what gang and housing announcements mean for Surrey

Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai speaks about recent funding commitments

South Surrey traffic busy on Black Friday

Traffic slow across region as shoppers search for deals

Kelowna Rockets slip past Vancouver Giants: ‘When you don’t execute, there’s got to be changes’

Giants coach frustrated after his team’s 3-2 loss at Langley Events Centre

Last days for notorious homeless camp in Chilliwack River Valley

One local sports fisher frustrated by slow response from police and all levels of government

Fuel spill follows train derailment near Hell’s Gate

Empty grain train jumped the track after a landslide

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Most Read