Port of Vancouver seeks injunction to remove homeless camp near CRAB Park
Spokesperson for campers says they plan to fight claim in B.C. Supreme Court
The Port of Vancouver has filed a claim in B.C. Supreme Court seeking the removal of a homeless camp in a parking lot beside CRAB Park.
In a notice of civil claim filed last Friday, the port says it wants an injunction against more than three dozen people who set up tents and a fire pit in the lot, which sits off a stretch of waterfront road bordering Burrard Inlet.
The port claims the campers are trespassing in violation of regulations governing Crown property.
The port also claims to have asked the occupants of the camp to move.
Chrissy Brett is the only named defendant in the lawsuit.
She told the CBC she had yet to receive a copy of the claim. But she said the campers, who have been on the land since early May, have no intention of leaving.
"We're trying to obtain legal counsel so that we can not only just defend physically our people here," she said.
Camp at Oppenheimer park shut down
Brett says the port dropped off a notice on the weekend, and had also attempted to place cement barriers at the lot, but abandoned that effort after a confrontation.
Brett claims the campers are on unceded Indigenous territory and have the permission of elders to establish themselves. She says they have invited port officials and politicians to sit down with them, but that hasn't happened yet.
She says the camp has become a home to people who would not be safe in other settings.
The camp sprang up even as the city and Vancouver police moved to shut down a long-standing homeless camp at Oppenheimer Park amid safety concerns and fears COVID-19 would spread like wildfire through the vulnerable population.
Brett says that campers in the parking lot are able to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
"We're working on getting more gazebos so that people will have some shade and space to social isolate and physically distance within their own little family groups," she said.
The campers have yet to file any response to the claim.