Submitted. The City of Abbotsford has issued a notice today asking those camping at Jubilee Park to remove their tents and belongings for reasons of safety, announced Deputy City Manager, Jake Rudolph.
“We’re asking for the tents and the structures to be removed within 48 hours for safety reasons,” said Rudolph. “This is not about removing people and we have no intention to disrupt the BC-Yukon Drug War Survivors right to protest.”
The City has posted and provided notice to those onsite today requesting the removal of the tents and structures by Wednesday this week.
“After reviewing numerous documented occurrences of fire safety violations including the use of propane barbeques within the tents as heat sources, criminal activity, drug use, and the additional concerns raised by the recent arrival of sub-zero temperatures, Council felt it was imperative we act now before someone gets hurt,” said Mayor Bruce Banman. “The last thing we want is to have a tragedy like what happened in Vancouver 2 years ago during the Occupy Vancouver protest where a young woman died.”
Abbotsford Fire Rescue Services and Abbotsford Police Department members have been conducting regular, routine safety checks at the tent site for the past several weeks.
“I personally spoke with protest-organizer, Barry Shantz last week and relayed this message to him, and the people at the site were also informed in person by staff conducting the safety checks,” said Rudolph. “This is not a surprise to anyone involved.”
City of Abbotsford lawyers will apply to the B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday and seeking an expedited injunction application if the tents are not removed within the 48 hour time-frame.
“We are moving into the extreme weather season which just escalates the risks,” said Rudolph. “For the safety of everyone, it’s time for the encampment to come to a peaceful conclusion.”
Picture courtesy of Bas Stevens