Camping in parks: Vancouver board votes to allow temporary overnight sheltering
VANCOUVER -- Vancouver's park board has passed a motion to allow temporary overnight camping in some of the city's parks.
The decision came after two lengthy park board meetings, where dozens of residents, advocates and business owners spoke. In the end, the amended bylaw passed 4-3.
Park board commissioners Tricia Barker, John Coupar and John Irwin voted against the amendment, while commissioners Dave Demers, Camil Dumont, Gwen Giesbrecht and Stuart Mackinnon voted in favour.
The park board says the amended bylaw now aligns with a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that says homeless people have the right to seek temporary shelter on public land when they have no other options.
Some restrictions will be in place, however, and shelters won't be permitted in areas like the seawall or on beaches or trails.
The proposal to change the bylaw came to the park board after concerns mounted about a tent city in Strathcona Park. That tent city was erected after two other encampments – one at Oppenheimer Park and another at CRAB Park – were ordered to clear out.