City of Nanaimo seeks enforcement order against Discontent City after recent protest

By Spencer Sterritt
July 27, 2018 - 4:19pm

A man waltzing through a press conference at Discontent City, saying it was time to party.Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

Discontent City residents are fighting back against a provincial fire safety order demanding they remove any tarps from the site.Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — The City of Nanaimo is once again hoping to be in front of a judge about the downtown Nanaimo tent city.

Following Discontent City's rejection of fire safety orders from the province, saying it puts the roughly 200 residents in more danger, the City of Nanaimo is seeking an enforcement order. It's an alternative use of judicial force to make Discontent City comply with the fire safety requests.

It's not known what will be included in the order the City is seeking or how it would further enforce their request laid at the camp.

Trying to find a suitable day in court can be challenging given lawyers' busy schedules, but mayor Bill McKay said he anticipated it will happen sooner rather than later.

Residents at Discontent City prepared for the order to be enforced either Thursday or Friday.

Organizer Mercedes Courtoreille told NanaimoNewsNOW any delay is a victory for the camp of roughly 200 people.

While this matter heads to the courts, McKay said the City and many other partners are working in “lockstep” to find a solution.

“We've got employees at City Hall who are working on this project almost their entire work day. We're working in lockstep with people who have resources available to them. One of the ways we can deal with tent city is to provide options more suitable to the folks who absolutely need it.”

The enforcement order joins the injunction the City filed against Discontent City as a matter presently before the courts. The judge has reserved his decision after a two day hearing and will decide if the injunction, which would prohibit campers from staying on the land, is approved.

 

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