The City of Prince George will be appealing B.C. Supreme Court ruling which determined the tent city dubbed “Moccasin Flats” on Lower Patricia Boulevard can stay in place.
The city sought an injunction to remove two encampments; one on Lower Patricia Boulevard and one on George Street.
While Chief Justice Hinkson ruled that the George Street encampment could be removed, he determined that the lower Patricia encampment may remain until suitable housing is available.
In his ruling, Hinkson ultimately found that there was inadequate shelter space available that the encampment occupants could access.
On Nov. 2 the city placed temporary fencing around the George Street site and relocated 20 occupants into supportive housing.
The City said it’s had the opportunity to receive legal advice and will be sending an application to the BC Supreme Court to close the Lower Patricia encampment when evidence of suitable housing has been provided by B.C. Housing.
The City will also be appealing Hinkson’s ruling to the BC Court of Appeal, and will be seeking financial assistance on the cost of the appeal from the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) appeal fund and other local governments in B.C.
The City said this action with the BC Court of Appeal will address what the City believes to be errors in the law within the BC Supreme Court’s reason for judgment.
“The purpose of the new BC Supreme Court application is public safety for both for the Lower Patricia encampment occupants and neighbouring residents and businesses. The City has been working closely with BC Housing and is informed that housing and emergency shelter space is available now,” states the City, in a news release.
As this is a legal action the city says it will not have any further comment.