Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A win for the homeless in Vancouver

A court in British Columbia has sided with the homeless on putting up tents in parks. The court says the homeless can sleep in Vancouver parks if there is not enough shelter space for them. The court recommends to the city that the best way to tackle the problem is by making more shelters available for the homeless.

From the Vancouver Sun, this Reuters article explains the courts decision.

A British Columbia Court of Appeal panel upheld a lower court ruling that a ban on so-called tent cities in parks violated a homeless person's constitutional right to security if there is not enough shelter space is available.

Poverty activists sued Victoria after the city it shut down a tent city that housed about 70 people in 2005. The activists said sleeping in tents in parks was safer than having to use city sidewalks.

The city on the Pacific coast has a more temperate winter climate than the rest of Canada, and its homeless population was significantly larger than the available shelter space.

The city said the ban was to protect the parks.

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