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Discontent City shrinks as plans proceed for camp’s closure

City moves tents, erects new fences as part of preparations to phase out homeless camp
Police, Nanaimo Fire Rescue and city workers cleared debris and had some residents reposition campsites Wednesday as part of the preparation work being done before the homeless camp closes at the end of November. CHRIS BUSH/ The News Bulletin

The City of Nanaimo is shrinking Discontent City as it prepares to phase out the homeless camp.

City work crews, Nanaimo Fire Rescue and RCMP were at the camp at 1 Port Drive on Wednesday morning to clean debris piles and to ask some of the tent city’s residents to move off of the high ground of the property, bordered by Esplanade, and into the lower parts of the camp. Tents were re-positioned as a backhoe scooped up trash piles and deposited them into a dumpster.

New fences to be erected within the camp will close off access to high ground above a railway spur within the camp to prevent campers from moving back to the tier of ground next to Esplanade.

Karen Fry, Nanaimo Fire Rescue chief, said the work was being done in part to improve fire safety. Dave Laberge, city manager of community safety, said the work was also being carried out to help people in the camp prepare to move into supportive housing.

Discontent City is scheduled to be closed Nov. 30 as residents are moved into supportive housing at Labieux Road and on Terminal Avenue.

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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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