Court dates have been finalized for a case involving the City of Nanaimo and the organizers of an unsanctioned tent city in the downtown.
B.C. Court Services website indicates the case will be heard on July 16 and July 17 at the Nanaimo courthouse.
The City of Nanaimo filed a petition to the Supreme Court of British Columbia last month, requesting a statutory injunction to shut down Discontent City and have its occupants removed. The city’s petition named Mercedes Courtoreille, Gina Watson, Mike Pindar, Mystie Wintoneak, Kent Sexton, Dean Kory and “other unknown persons” as the respondents.
According to a response filed by Noah Ross, the attorney representing those named in the city’s petition against Discontent City, the camp creates a sense of community, where occupants have safe access to the basic necessities. Ross is hoping the city’s case will be thrown out.
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According to Discontent City's response to a court petition, the camp “greatly increases the health and safety” of the petition respondents while not “materially decreasing” the health and safety of the surrounding area… https://t.co/IvTVSq9tUD #Nanaimo pic.twitter.com/Yb0m2UJGyC
— Nanaimo Bulletin (@NanaimoBulletin) July 13, 2018
The response notes that Discontent City occupants, including the respondents, have been subjected to “extensive” verbal and physical harassment as well as discrimination “in person and on social media.”
There are not enough shelter beds, no drop-in spaces for homeless and overnight camping in city-owned parks is insufficient according to the response, which also states that Discontent City “greatly increases the health and safety” of the petition respondents while not “materially decreasing” the health and safety of the surrounding area.
The response, accompanied by 62 affidavits, also argues that the city will not “suffer irreparable harm” should Discontent City remain on Port Drive.
Last month the city announced a two-day hearing would be set for the week of July 16, but no exact dates were known.
Hearing dates have been set for July 16 & July 17 for the City of Nanaimo's case against Discontent City. #Nanaimo is seeking to have the tent city removed, requesting a statutory injunction. pic.twitter.com/Uhm0hH3ZD3
— Nicholas M Pescod (@npescod) July 13, 2018
Discontent City was established on May 17 and has become the unofficial home of more than 200 individuals.