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Homeless advocates oppose bylaw allowing camping in parks, call for housing

Last Updated Jul 31, 2020 at 2:06 pm PDT

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Homeless people living in Vancouver’s Strathcona Park say a new bylaw allowing for overnight camping would make things worse for them.

“If you pick a designated area for us to all campout, then you’re pretty much enabling a bunch of people to stay homeless,” says Angela, a Strathcona Park resident. “That’s not any type of support to obtain housing that’s just support to stay in the exact same position that we’re in right now.”

Earlier this month, the Vancouver Park Board voted in favour of amending the existing law to allow for overnight camping in parks but residents of camping a Strathcona Park explain exhaustion will continue to be their reality if the new bylaw goes into effect.

While camping would be allowed in any Vancouver Park, but homeless advocates say restrictions make it nearly impossible for the homeless to find park space, however.

The bylaw would outlaw tent cities but for people it’s their only sense of community.

The camping bylaw was meant to be made official during a Monday night park board meeting, but it failed to pass so it’ll be reconsidered in September.

In the meantime, campers hope to work with all government levels to create a more solid housing plan than just a tent in a park.

Under the new bylaw, tents could be pitched at dusk and would have to come down by 7 a.m. the next morning.