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Pressure increases for Charlottetown tent encampment as residents receive hazard compliance order



CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Fewer than two weeks after the brand new Park Avenue emergency shelters opened, the P.E.I. authorities and the Metropolis of Charlottetown are starting to place stress on these remaining on the tent encampment.

Residents staying on the Charlottetown Occasion Grounds got a letter from the province’s Division of Social Improvement and Housing on Dec. 16, notifying them the proprietor of the grounds – the Charlottetown Space Improvement Company – had been issued a hazard compliance order for sustaining a hearth hazard.

The order, which SaltWire Community obtained a replica of, was from the Charlottetown Fireplace Division and listed a number of potential hearth hazards, together with improperly saved propane tanks, extreme flamable rubbish, tents with electrical cables operating into them, and picket constructions constructed with tarps and different flamable supplies.

Within the order, which was dated Dec. 1, it acknowledged these hazards would should be addressed by Dec. 19, three days after residents acquired the discover.

SaltWire Community contacted the Division of Social Improvement and Housing to make clear why the discover didn’t attain residents till Dec. 16, however no response was acquired.

In a previous interview, Shelley Cole, manager of housing services for the Department of Social Development and Housing, says those staying at the Charlottetown tent encampment will soon need to vacate the event grounds now that the Park Street shelters are open. Cody McEachern/SaltWire Network File
In a earlier interview, Shelley Cole, supervisor of housing providers for the Division of Social Improvement and Housing, says these staying on the Charlottetown tent encampment will quickly have to vacate the occasion grounds now that the Park Avenue shelters are open. Cody McEachern/SaltWire Community File

Precarious future

With this newest motion from the town and the latest announcement that the province intends to vacate the encampment following the opening of the brand new shelters, the destiny of the encampment is unsure.

“Nothing is clarified. It is simply all up within the air. It is all simply rumour from everybody, so how can you decide (on what to do) on that?” mentioned resident Dave MacDonald throughout a go to to the encampment on Dec. 19.

“I’m on the level the place I’m burning out. I don’t know what to do.”

Talks of the province’s plan to vacate the encampment have spurred many volunteer teams and Opposition members to name for Social Improvement and Housing Minister Matthew MacKay to rethink the eviction.

A name to authorities

Throughout a Dec. 18 protest on the Coles Constructing in Charlottetown, audio system from Charlottetown Mutual Assist and P.E.I. Battle for Inexpensive housing referred to as on the provincial authorities with particular requests, together with:

• Stop all encampment eviction plans, compelled removing or destruction of the encampment by the Charlottetown police or another authority on behalf of presidency.

• Open the modular houses 24/7.

• Take motion to create extra inexpensive, secure housing.

• Contain these dwelling on the encampment in discussions and choices.

Round 30 folks gathered exterior the Coles constructing on Dec. 18 to protest the eviction and potential dismantling of the encampment.

In the course of the protest, audio system from Charlottetown Mutual Assist and P.E.I. Battle for Inexpensive housing referred to as on the province and the town to hear and collaborate with the unhoused people earlier than evicting them from their tent encampment.

“Being unhoused is a profoundly traumatic occasion. It’s important we perceive the complexities of those circumstances utilizing a human-rights-based method and a trauma-informed lens – at all times,” mentioned Nouhad Mourad, who’s with Charlottetown Mutual Assist.

Mourad mentioned she and members of Charlottetown Mutual Assist met with MacKay Dec. 17 at his pancake breakfast in Kensington. She mentioned through the assembly, MacKay agreed to a gathering with Charlottetown Mutual Assist, representatives from the town and residents from the encampment to debate doable options.

Members of Charlottetown Mutual Aid, Chanel Briggs, left, Nouhad Mourad and Elizabeth Cyr, speak to a reporter at a protest outside the Coles building Dec. 18 calling for government to halt the dismantling of the tent encampment at the Charlottetown event grounds. Alison Jenkins
Members of Charlottetown Mutual Assist, Chanel Briggs, left, Nouhad Mourad and Elizabeth Cyr, communicate to a reporter at a protest exterior the Coles constructing Dec. 18 calling for presidency to halt the dismantling of the tent encampment on the Charlottetown occasion grounds. Alison Jenkins

Eviction nonetheless taking place

Nonetheless, it wasn’t all excellent news from MacKay.

“He has mentioned that the encampment eviction will go ahead. And that’s we’re right here,” Mourad mentioned, referring to the protest. “He additionally mentioned the modular houses will keep at 12 hours.”

On the hazard compliance order, Mourad mentioned the residents got the discover with no assist and no recommendation on how they may rectify the problems by the Dec. 19 deadline.

“They got an inconceivable activity, which appears intentional,” she mentioned.

“I don’t assume there’s any manner you possibly can say that the fireplace marshal, the town staff didn’t know there’s no doable manner these calls for may very well be met.”

Members of Charlottetown Mutual Assist had rented a truck to assist with the cleanup; nonetheless, disposal websites had closed by mid-day Dec. 17.

Mourad mentioned the town advised her it would assist them clear the encampment on Dec. 19.

Dave MacDonald, who is living at the Charlottetown Event Grounds tent encampment, says everything is up in the air right now in relation to the encampment. He says lack of communication between the city, the province and those at the encampment has left some wondering if they will still have a place to stay. Alison Jenkins/SaltWire Network File
Dave MacDonald, who resides on the Charlottetown Occasion Grounds tent encampment, says all the things is up within the air proper now in relation to the encampment. He says lack of communication between the town, the province and people on the encampment has left some questioning if they are going to nonetheless have a spot to remain. Alison Jenkins/SaltWire Community File

For MacDonald, he’s hopeful these staying on the encampment can convey it principally into compliance with the town. He mentioned efforts are being made to scrub up the rubbish and tackle a number of the potential hearth hazards.

MacDonald mentioned he isn’t positive what’s going to occur when the town reveals as much as examine the encampment – whether or not the town will confiscate a few of their belongings prefer it did beforehand or if it would pressure them out and tear down the shelters they constructed.

Whereas nobody had proven as much as examine the encampment as of 11 a.m., MacDonald mentioned police had been there earlier within the morning asking how many individuals remained on the encampment.

MacDonald mentioned there was extra of a push for these on the encampment to depend on the brand new shelters. Whereas some from the encampment have begun utilizing the shelters, MacDonald mentioned for others, it simply doesn’t work.

He famous some residents solely function through the evening and sleep by means of the day, which doesn’t work with the shelters’ hours. He additionally mentioned some residents depend on gathering bottles or scrap for money.

“The place are they supposed to place all that stuff there?” he mentioned of the brand new shelters.

“Not everybody (on the encampment) is the way in which they want them to be. It gained’t work for all of us.”

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