British Columbia

RCMP to enforce court injunction against Burnaby 'demoviction' protesters

Burnaby RCMP has still not made any arrests at a three-storey apartment building slated for development that has been occupied by protesters who want affordable rental housing protected.

Developer Amacon set to begin hazardous waste removal Monday, demolition slated for August

On Friday, July 15, 2016, Burnaby RCMP officers told protesters at 5025 Imperial St. that they would enforce a court injunction against an occupation of a three-story rental building, "when it is appropriate and safe for everyone to do so." (CBC)

Burnaby RCMP have come and gone once again from the occupation of a three-story apartment building slated for demolition and development without making any arrests, but promise they will be back to enforce a court injunction, "once it is appropriate and safe for everyone to do so."

The group called Alliance Against Displacement, which has been protesting at 5025 Imperial Street since July 9, says the developer Amacon has said it plans to begin removing hazardous waste from the site on Monday, with demolition slated for early August.

Helen Ward with Burnaby First Coalition reiterated the protesters' hope that the city will step in and halt the demolition and find a way to preserve housing that she says is affordable.

"This is a community. This a home to people. There's nothing wrong with it," she said.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said the city is powerless to stop owners and developers from tearing down existing buildings to create higher cost condo towers and blames higher levels of government for the growing affordable housing shortage.

He also said that despite demands, the province has not allowed the city to be able to zone for rental housing.

A group of housing advocates began occupying this apartment building in Burnaby, B.C., at 5025 Imperial St. on Saturday July 9, 2016, protesting the eviction of residents from affordable rentals to make way for condo towers. (CBC)

"I think they should arrest Mr. Corrigan," said Martin Fernandez on Friday.

Fernandez is a former resident at 5025 Imperial Street in Burnaby with his two sons, but was given three months notice to leave by Amacon. Rent for his new place is $400 more per month, at $1150.

In 2010, the city voted to dramatically increase density, especially in areas near SkyTrain stations or other transit hubs. Burnaby planners said the city needed 2,000 new units a year for the following 25 years to accommodate growth