ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Two British Columbia organizations that speak on behalf of vulnerable residents have sent an open letter to B.C.’s housing minister urging him to halt imminent evictions at a tent encampment in the Fraser Valley.
The BC Civil Liberties Association and Pivot Legal Society want Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon to stop any evictions at the Lonzo Park encampment, located on provincially owned land originally intended as a park-and-ride in Abbotsford.
The letter reminds Kahlon that several B.C. Supreme Court rulings have found forcible eviction is illegal when other housing options are inadequate.
Officials with the civil liberties association and Pivot say Lonzo Park residents report no one has offered alternative housing, and neither the city nor province have provided documents showing shelter or housing is ready for those facing eviction.
The letter calls on Kahlon and the provincial government to uphold an earlier statement that pledged to ensure encampment residents are “safe, healthy and treated with dignity.”
It says Kahlon and the B.C. government must end their support for the Lonzo Park evictions, and instead hold municipalities “accountable” for perpetuating human rights violations.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2023.
The Canadian Press