Unceded Squamish, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh territories (Vancouver): The residents of Kennedy Trudeau (K.T.) tent city and their supporters are calling a press conference for July 28th to speak out against the amendments to the Parks Control Bylaw that were passed July 14th regarding temporary shelter in parks.

Where: K.T. Tent City, Strathcona Park, Malkin Ave and Chess St
When: Tuesday July 28th, 12:30 PM noon
Who: K.T. Tent City residents and supporters

What’s happening? On Monday July 27th, the Vancouver Parks Board is holding a committee e-meeting. On the agenda is the enactment of the Parks Control bylaws that were voted in on July 14th. The Vancouver Parks Board agenda states that the amendments have been enacted by the board and as of July 27th are now bylaw.

The amendments to Parks Control bylaw that passed 4-3 in favour on July 14th are not the solution to homelessness in Vancouver. The bylaws institute heavy restrictions on where people are allowed to camp from dusk to 7am and give power to the Parks Board general to designate where people can set up during the day. Karina Castro, a K.T tent city supporter, argues that these bylaws synch up with the “regulated tent city” model presented in the proposed Provincial Encampment Guidelines: “both outline a strategic shift to manage homelessness by employing experts and professionals to contain and manage “clients” instead of spending that money on building housing.”

Kyli, a resident at KT tent city put it well: “We don’t want to live in tents forever. How can we get homes or homes with these amendments?” This strategy is not about housing, it is about pushing unhoused and underhoused people out of the way. Karina argues setting up designated sites where people living on the streets are allowed to set up in the daytime will justify the displacement of people currently living in K.T. tent city, increase the criminalization of people outside the designated zones, and will expand the B.C shelter system outdoors instead of moving people into actual housing. Like Kyli says, “the housing situation needs to reach the 10,000 units a year number to fix this problem, remember the issue is housing!”

At our press conference, residents and supporters of K.T. Tent City will explain how the Parks Board’s bylaws will make the lives of those living on the streets even more difficult, more dangerous, and we will call for homes for all.