Living in cars, tents banned by new Squamish bylaw
Squamish city council voted in favour of a bylaw Tuesday night that the district hopes will put an end to camping in public places.
The bylaw, which seeks to ban people from camping in cars and tents, came after the district said some campers were leaving behind garbage and endangering wildlife.
"There's people that don't know how to do zero-trace camping and they are definitely having an impact, they're creating neighbour conflicts," said Karen Elliott, Squamish's mayor.
Some campers say they've been forced to live in vehicles, however, and feel the bylaw is unfairly targeting them.
Wlodeck Zara lost his house last year and now lives in his 1990s Volkswagen hatchback. He worries he won't have a place to park and sleep.
"If this law comes into effect then they would come down hard and people like me living in cars, we simply won't be able to do it," he told CTV News. "We'll be out of luck."
Now that the bylaw has passed, officers will be trained to enforce the rule and "no camping" signs will be placed around the city.
Elliott said the bylaw "is really about giving bylaw officers the ability to move people along off of Crown land within municipal boundaries."
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Emad Agahi