Vancouver Park Board rejects injunction for Oppenheimer Park
Published Friday, September 27, 2019 9:01AM PDT
Vancouver Park Board have voted against seeking an injunction to evict those living in tents in Oppenheimer Park.
At an emergency meeting Thursday night, park board commissioners heard presentations from Vancouver police, fire crews and city staff. All three called for an injunction to clear out the camp.
The park has been the focus of police attention in recent months and in August, those in the park were issued a moving day deadline. Weeks later, however, dozens were still living there.
On Monday, police held a news conference about three shootings that took place in the pan of 15 hours on the Downtown Eastside, and suggested Oppenheimer is becoming a target for crime. It was the second time in less than a week that authorities called for a new injunction at the park.
"Oppenheimer Park right now is acting like a magnet it's drawing the criminal element into the park that was otherwise untapped, didn’t exist before," said Deputy Chief Const. Howard Chow during the news conference. "Everybody’s vying for that piece of the action."
Injunctions were ordered in 2014 and 2008 to clear out Oppenheimer Park when violence ramped up around the tent cities that existed then. Chow said he wants to see an injunction used again, arguing that it worked to address violence then and could again now.
Instead, commissioners for 4-2 in favour of collaborating with the city to find housing for everyone still camping in the park, rather than pursuing an injunction.