People experiencing homelessness, along with their advocates, set up the Discontent City campsite last month on 1 Port Drive land at Esplanade and Front Street. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

People experiencing homelessness, along with their advocates, set up the Discontent City campsite last month on 1 Port Drive land at Esplanade and Front Street. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo intends to go to B.C. Supreme Court to address Discontent City

City of Nanaimo will involve the courts in an effort to evict residents of homeless camp

The City of Nanaimo announced that it will involve the courts in an effort to evict campers from the Discontent City homeless camp.

People experiencing homelessness, along with their advocates, set up the campsite last month on 1 Port Drive land at Esplanade and Front Street.

Coun. Ian Thorpe, acting mayor, said the city wants to take a “prudent and balanced approach” and read a statement from city lawyer Troy DeSouza at Monday’s council meeting.

“The public will best be served by bringing this matter before a justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia to resolve the competing concerns,” DeSouza wrote.

Thorpe said the city recognizes “we have an issue with homelessness” and recognizes there is a need for more social housing

“The City of Nanaimo does not support the continuation of the tent city at 1 Port Place,” said Thorpe, reading a statement agreed upon by city council. “We are attempting to address the concerns of downtown residents and business owners. The city is currently seeking to secure alternative shelter options.”

The City of Nanaimo is asking any citizens who have been negatively impacted by Discontent City to consider making a sworn statement; for information, e-mail office@govlaw.ca.

Discontent City residents have organized a press conference for Tuesday afternoon.

“Campers will speak out against the City of Nanaimo’s strategy of using bylaw and police harassment to criminalize, repress and displace homeless people,” a press release notes.

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