Duncan tent city receives B.C. Supreme Court eviction order

Campers have received a court-ordered injunction to vacate Charles Hoey Park or risk being in contempt. Duncan Mayor Phil Kent says shelter space is available — but not everyone agrees.

Mayor Phil Kent says there's enough space in local shelters for campers

City officials speak with homeless campers at a park in Duncan, B.C. (CHEK News)

Homeless campers in a tent city in Duncan have received a court-ordered eviction notice.

According to the city's mayor, Phil Kent, the organized encampment which includes a dozen or so tents must be dismantled Thursday or residents will be in contempt of the B.C. Supreme Court order and could face penalties.

The encampment began in March as a peaceful protest to draw attention to homelessness, and houses several residents who say they have nowhere else to go.

But Kent says the camp is in direct conflict with the city's bylaws.

"We do have bylaws which are congruent with the previous Supreme Court cases that allow for people who have no other shelter for a night [to] erect tents in our in our parks around our city," he said.

"They can erect their tents in the evening but they have to be dismantled during the day. [But] this encampment is basically set up and continues to grow ... which is in contravention of our bylaws."

Kent says each camper will receive an individual order to vacate. He says he wants to avoid any forceful removals.

"If they don't vacate ... we would be able to remove them at some point. We would have to cross that bridge when we get to it."

With files from CBC's All Points West