March 1st, 2024

Pause extended for removing Edmonton homeless camps, but parties agree some can go

By The Canadian Press on December 18, 2023.

Joshua Bell pictured at his tent in Edmonton on Thursday October 19, 2023. Bell has been homeless in Edmonton for two years now. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

EDMONTON – A judge has extended an emergency pause on a police plan to remove a long list of homeless encampments in Edmonton after police, the city and a human rights group reached an agreement that will see eight camps that are considered a public safety risk taken down.

Before proceeding with removing the eight camps, the city and police must issue notice again to the people living in them, as well as make sure there are alternative accommodations available for the residents.

The pause will last until Jan. 11, when court will hear an earlier injunction application from the Coalition for Justice and Human Rights, which has launched a lawsuit against the city against its policy of removing homeless camps.

The coalition successfully argued Friday for the emergency pause after police told social agencies they planned to remove a large number of camps this week.

But that pause only lasted until today to allow the court to hear additional arguments from police about why the removals were necessary.

There’s no specific date for the removal of the eight camps that have been deemed a public safety issue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 18, 2023.

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