Attorneys for Victoria camp, area give court docket their requests on listening to consequence

Attorneys for Victoria camp, area give court docket their requests on listening to consequence

KITCHENER — Waterloo Regional Police don’t need to be concerned within the potential eviction of individuals camped at 100 Victoria St. N.

“I need to be clear, it’s the police’s hope and perception that that must be averted, that we’re the final choice,” stated Gary Melanson, lawyer for Waterloo Regional Police. “Now we have no need fairly frankly to be concerned. If now we have to be, it’s within the train of sustaining the rule of legislation and supporting the court docket’s order.”

“In the end any police involvement goes to be extremely traumatic for these of us,” stated Ashley Schuitema from Waterloo Area Group Authorized Providers, who represents a few of the residents on the encampment.

Arguments within the Superior Courtroom injunction listening to wrapped on Wednesday after three days.

Attorneys for residents of 100 Victoria St. N. are asking the court docket to search out that an eviction would violate residents’ rights underneath the Constitution of Rights and Freedoms.

They’re asking the court docket to order a keep of proceedings till the area can show that there are accessible and satisfactory shelter areas for homeless individuals all through the area, together with daytime choices.

They need the order saved broad as a result of Victoria residents gained’t have any particular declare over different unsheltered individuals when the area opens a sanctioned encampment and different proposed shelters.

“We don’t know that they’re practical choices for the individuals experiencing homelessness within the area,” stated Schuitema.

Schuitema requested that the injunction software be denied as a result of the area didn’t observe its personal encampment coverage to hunt eviction as a final resort.

James Bennett, the area’s lawyer, argued the injunction wouldn’t violate constitution rights. He stated the court docket should give attention to whether or not the area’s bylaw and the Trespass to Property Act are being violated.

The area is aware of it has the authority to have individuals faraway from its property, however needs the court docket’s steerage to make use of as a precedent. It has to this point spent $65,670 on the court docket continuing.

“There will probably be individuals that won’t adjust to such an order, and police help will probably be wanted. … Regardless of the police require by way of discretion and instruction from the court docket as to how they could conduct it,” Bennett stated. “The area has no downside with that. We’re on aspect with the police.”

The area is prepared to supply the Victoria encampment residents half of the brand new beds on the SHIP shelter in downtown Kitchener, half of the beds on the Weber Avenue shelter set to open in January and half of the beds in a deliberate hybrid encampment, he stated.

The hybrid encampment will open in January as a part of extra shelter beds the area is including, Bennett stated.

Justice M.J. Valente is anticipated to launch his resolution by yr’s finish.

“It is a matter that must be determined and it’s my want to determine it in an expeditious style,” he stated Wednesday.

He made his feedback after permitting a supplementary affidavit from Kelly-Anne Salerno, the area’s assistant director of housing operations and administration, concerning the regional shelter system and homeless inhabitants.

The legal professionals outlined their arguments about that new affidavit Wednesday whereas the court docket benches behind them full of outreach staff and others who assist probably the most susceptible on this area, some carrying shirts that learn, “Housing is a human proper.”

The injunction request from the Area of Waterloo is predicated on a regional bylaw that prohibits “the erecting of tents/short-term buildings, loitering” on regionally owned land, resembling the world at Victoria and Weber streets in downtown Kitchener the place about 50 persons are residing in tents. The positioning has been occupied since final December.

The area’s lawyer argued the positioning is unsafe.

That is the primary time in Ontario {that a} municipality has sought a court docket order to clear an encampment. The choice will set a precedent that could possibly be relied upon by different municipalities.

Greater than 100 persons are estimated to be sleeping outdoors within the three largest camps within the area: at 100 Victoria, in Victoria Park in Kitchener and at 150 Important St. in Cambridge. Many extra individuals dwell in smaller encampments all through the area.

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