Tent city appears to be growing at Oppenheimer Park
This morning just after 8 a.m., I counted 41 tents in Oppenheimer Park.
They were located mostly on the western section close to Cordova Street.
But there were also people sleeping in tents on the eastern edge of the park.
Just three days ago when I dropped by the park around 9 a.m., there were only 10 structures. (The photo below was taken on July 21.)
It's reminiscent of the Occupy protest in the 2011 election.
It began with a few tents but then grew to cover much of the north lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
This morning on the Media Mornings program on Co-op Radio, host David Ball discussed how the 2011 tent city influenced the civic election.
As a result of the protest, he noted that Vision Vancouver's rhetoric became more conservative to offset the criticism from then-NPA mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton.
Meanwhile, the NPA's mayoral candidate, Kirk LaPointe, is capitalizing on the tent city in Oppenheimer Park.
This week, he told reporters that Vision Vancouver has "overpromised and underdelivered" on addressing homelessness.
Vision is also getting hammered on homelessness by human-rights activist Sid Tan, who's hoping to be nominated as a COPE candidate for council.
"I have watched our city government promise to end homelessness, but now homelessness has reached the highest level in recorded history," Tan said in a speech announcing his candidacy. "Meanwhile city hall wrote a law to fine homeless tenters $10,000. I want to amplify the voices of those tenting in the park until they can say: 'Homeless no more. We got our housing back.' "
The tent-city dwellers say they have no intention of abandoning their protest, even though Oppenheimer Park is the site of the Powell Street Festival on the B.C. Day weekend.