The guardians of Vancouver parks have modified their position on a homeless camp in the Downtown Eastside.
Park commissioners have now authorized the park board's general manager, Malcolm Bromley, to seek an injunction against occupants of a tent city in Oppenheimer Park.
But that can only occur after certain conditions are met.
According to a news release issued this morning, that includes engaging a third-party to conduct an independent assessment "to provide recommendations to enhance safety, provide support, and seek appropriate shelter for people in the park as part of the decampment plan".
In addition, staff has been instructed to revise a bylaw that prohibits people from seeking shelter in parks. According to the board, this is being done to bring it up to current standards and to meet a legal precedent.
“While we know this will take time, I am optimistic that we have developed a plan to improve conditions for people experiencing homelessness in Oppenheimer Park and to move toward a safe resolution to the current encampment in the park,” park board chair Stuart Mackinnon said in the news release. “The board is committed to enacting a compassionate and holistic approach to this difficult and complicated challenge that touches everyone in our community.”
The decision came after NPA commissioner Tricia Barker expressed fears that someone was going to die in the park.
In other park board news, Green commissioner Camil Dumont was elected as the new chair in 2020. The vice chair will be another Green commissioner, Dave Demers.