British Columbia

Homeless campers evicted from parking lot near CRAB Park pitch new camp next door

A group of homeless people evicted from the occupied area of a parking lot on Vancouver Port Authority property near CRAB Park have moved their camp next door to another port authority property.

Homeless campers stage midnight move to new spot 20 metres away from old one

Residents and advocates of a homeless camp next to CRAB Park moved items from the lot into another area through a broken fence in Vancouver on Monday, June 15, 2020. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC) (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Homeless people facing eviction from a Vancouver Port Authority parking lot beside Crab Park have folded their tents and moved from the area they occupied to an adjacent parking lot 20 metres away.

Between 60 to 80 tent city campers worked through the night moving people, tents and structures to the gravel parking lot next door. Only a few tents remained on the rain slicked cement parking lot where they have lived for the past month.

According to tent city resident James Low, the new camp still sits on port authority land, but there's a difference from the old camp.

"We were evicted and told to move off that parking lot so we did," Lowe said. "We moved onto this parking lot and it's a different piece of property, so they're going to have to take us back to court if they want us off."

James S. Low, resident of homeless camp next to CRAB park, is pictured outside his tent in Vancouver on Monday, June 15, 2020. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC) (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Camper's lawyer cautions

On June 10, the British Columbia Supreme Court granted the Vancouver Port Authority an injunction against members of the illegal tent city next to CRAB Park on Vancouver's waterfront. They were given three days to move upon receiving notice. The order is in effect for 15 days from June 10.

The campers' lawyer Amandeep Singh cautioned that the land the new camp sits on may have been covered by the port authority injunction.

"The map the port authority provided to the courts during the injunction showed that it also covered the new lot they're on," he said."This may have to go back to court to clarify."

Campers moved their tents and belongings through a broken fence from the initial homeless camp in a parking lot next to CRAB Park on Monday. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

In an email from the Vancouver Police Department, officials say they are aware campers have moved. They say they expect the injunction to be complied with and are assessing next steps. 

Calls to the port authority weren't immediately returned.

Campers started pitching their tents on port authority property shortly after May 8, when the homeless camp in Oppenheimer Park closed. Anywhere between 100 to 130  people are living in the new camp.