Lawyers to argue Jubilee Park injunction be dropped

Lawyers representing homeless people to argue against injunction for park

A homeless camp set up in Jubilee Park late last year.

A homeless camp set up in Jubilee Park late last year.

Lawyers for Pivot Legal Society, a non-profit legal group representing homeless people in Abbotsford, are in court today (Friday), arguing that an injunction be dropped against camping in Jubilee Park.

In October 2013, a group of homeless people set up a protest camp in Jubilee Park, stating they would stay in the park until solutions were found to address homelessness.

The city issued an eviction notice for the park in late November, but campers remained.

The city asked the courts for an injunction, which was granted on Dec. 20, 2013. At that time, Justice James Williams said the camp was impacting public use of the “community space” and this superseded the inconvenience of having the occupants move to another location.

The campers then vacated the park and haven’t returned. Many of them relocated – and remain – in an area on Gladys Avenue near Essendene Avenue.

The injunction related only to Jubilee Park. The city’s application to enforce a ban on camping in all parks will be dealt with as part of a trial tentatively scheduled for June 2015, as Pivot lawyers have argued that the bylaws are unconstitutional.

On Friday, Pivot lawyers will argue that the Jubilee Park injunction should be dropped, as the city has failed to provide any meaningful housing or shelter alternatives to the people evicted.

A Pivot representative said a decision was possible on Friday, but is now expected to come later.