Aerial view of Canada Place

GM orders removal of structures and partial temporary closure of CRAB Park

September 7 2021 –

The General Manager of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation has issued an order that the southwest section of CRAB Park at Portside will be temporarily closed to the public for grounds remediation. The order will take effect on Thursday, September 9, 2021, and is pursuant to the Parks Control By-law. 

The new order is in addition to a GM order issued on July 8, 2021, that temporary shelters and structures are prohibited anywhere in CRAB Park to ensure the park remains available to all park users. This order remains in effect until further notice. 

As a signatory of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Vancouver and Province of BC, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation has committed to preventing encampments in Vancouver Parks and is responsible for enforcing the Parks Control By-laws, which precludes temporary shelters from being erected during the day in Vancouver parks, when suitable indoor spaces are available for unsheltered people to move indoors. 

The General Manager of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation holds the authority to issue an order for the removal of structures, and has also received delegated authority from the Park Board to seek an injunction through the courts, should the park not be vacated by 10am on Thursday, September 9.

The Park Board voted in favour of delegating the authority to seek an injunction to the GM at an in-camera meeting held last month. The Board also voted in favour of publicly releasing the decision to delegate its authority to the GM via a statement from the Chair. 

Park Rangers will provide support to those in the park who require temporary storage of their belongings or assistance in securing an indoor space. Once structures are removed from the park, the southwest corner will be fenced for remediation work before being reopened for full public use.

Quotes

Donnie Rosa, GM of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation

“For the past several months we have been engaging with individuals experiencing homelessness in CRAB Park in an effort to support them in moving indoors,” said Donnie Rosa, GM of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. “Outreach work from our partners at the City and in BC Housing has been ongoing and resulted in many folks moving indoors. However, approximately 45 individuals remain with semi-permanent shelters in the park and it is our responsibility to enforce the Parks Control By-law.”

Camil Dumont, Chair of the Vancouver Park Board

“The Board has the utmost confidence in the General Manager and after thorough briefings from staff, is delegating the authority to seek an injunction to GM Rosa,” said Camil Dumont, Chair of the Vancouver Park Board. “BC Housing has confirmed there are available indoor spaces for people to access. In addition GM Rosa has confirmed that other locations remain available throughout the Vancouver park network, where temporary overnight sheltering is permitted.”