MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS 1130) — Homeless people forced out of a tent city in Maple Ridge are waiting to find out if they’ll be allowed to go back and stay at Anita Place.
Lawyer Caitlin Shane with the PIVOT Legal Society says Tuesday is when a judge decides if a recent order to verify names can be challenged.
“The mechanisms that were put in place by this order that we’re now appealing threaten to invade people’s privacy and to detain people in a way that we feel is heavy-handed and unnecessary.”
She says Tuesday’s court ruling should not keep occupants from returning to the camp because it mainly addresses fire safety concerns and whether the injunction order issued last month can be challenged.
Shane also says she’s disappointed lawyers for the provincial government seem to be siding with the city.
“The province has been vocal in the last few days about wanting the city to come up with a plan to house these folks and it’s concerning to us that now, in court, the province is actually taking a stand against us.”
The recently-evacuated camp remains empty as efforts continue to provide alternative housing.
“We think that it’s problematic that the city has been inflexible in working with the province to achieve housing,” Shane tells NEWS 1130. “We hope that the province will continue to push for housing and will support us in our efforts to ensure the safety of residents in the absence of housing.”
Shane is expecting the evacuation order to be lifted Sunday March 10th, so some occupants may be allowed to return to the site near St. Anne Avenue and 223rd Street.
Friday (March 8) was the province’s deadline for Maple Ridge to submit a plan addressing the city’s homeless situation.