Courts will decide future of Kitchener encampment
As eviction day at a downtown Kitchener encampment looms, the region is doubling down that no one will be forcibly removed from the site on June 30 – the date it has said everyone living there must leave by.
Instead, it’s asking the courts to decide what should happen next at 100 Victoria Street.
On Friday, the region told CTV News no police or bylaw officers would be on-site to remove people on eviction day. The region has said there are more than 60 tents on the property.
On Monday, it issued a media release reiterating its position.
“The region will seek direction from the court on next steps if there is no voluntary compliance to vacate the encampment at 100 Victoria Street on or before June 30,” the release said in part.
Solicitor for the Region of Waterloo, Jeff Schelling confirmed to CTV News the region has the authority to evict people from the site without going before a judge.
But, Schelling said, the courts will provide a fair and transparent process where everyone can be heard.
“[It’s] an opportunity for individuals living on the site to have their case put forward and the court to weigh all aspects of this and to include all other interested parties should they wish to have a voice,” said Schelling. “At the end of the day, the court will issue directions.”
As for how long it could take before those directions are issued, Schelling said it will be “certainly not less than weeks.”
“It could be longer, depending on the time the court wishes to permit for representation,” he continued.
Last week, a large rally marched past the camp in support of people living at the site. Organizers are asking the region to throw out the eviction notice, or provide space for a sanctioned camp.
As of Monday, the eviction order is still in place, even if the willingness to enforce it is now on hold.