Homeless campers ordered to leave park by 4pm Saturday

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has once again issued a Saturday afternoon deadline to residents of a homeless camp in Abbotsford's Jubilee Park. The campers have been ordered to vacate the entire park site by 4 p.m. PT Saturday afternoon.

Judge gives campers until 4 p.m. PT Saturday afternoon to vacate Jubilee Park campsites

Residents at the homeless protest camp in Jubilee Park have been ordered to leave by 4 p.m. PT Saturday afternoon. (CBC)

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ordered residents of a homeless camp in Abbotsford's Jubilee Park to remove their belongings and vacate the park by 4 p.m. PT Saturday afternoon.

The plywood barricade erected to keep the wind off the camp located on a parking lot will have to be removed by 2 p.m. Monday, the judge also ordered.

A similar order was issued last week for the parking lot campsite, but the Saturday afternoon deadline came and went without any further action taken by the city.

The City of Abbotsford's notice to vacate a parking lot off McCallum Road was upheld in provincial court in New Westminster Friday, Dec. 13, and again on Friday, Dec. 20. The judge also said the plywood barrier that was erected around the camp would have to come down by Monday. (Catherine Rolfsen/CBC)

The City of Abbotsford said it would be serving the new notice to vacate the camp to organizers and residents on Friday, and staff will be on hand to offer shelter to those who have no place to go. 

But Pivot Legal Society lawyer DJ Larkin, who has been representing the camp, questions whether the city will be able to provide shelter to all of the camp residents.

"The judge made his decision on the basis that the lawyer for the city said there are shelter spaces for these people — they could be sleeping indoors — so they're going to try," said Larkin.

"But the reality is they have nowhere to go and they're very scared. And I'm worried about them in this weather," said Larkin.

Friday's court order also permits the City of Abbotsford to dispose of any belongings left in the park as of 2 p.m. Monday, and noted that police officers are authorized to arrest and remove any person who is not complying with the judge's orders.

The battle between the city of Abbotsford and its homeless population has been raging on for months. Last month camp organizers and Larkin announced plans to sue the city.

The issue made headlines this summer when city workers dumped chicken manure at one homeless camp in an effort to drive out the residents.