Province introduces legislation on homeless encampments

Publishing Date
Legislation Overview

On November 6, the Province of BC introduced legislation under Bill 45, Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, that will apply to local governments who seek court injunctions to remove or regulate homeless encampments. These amendments will have significant impacts on local governments and their ability to address encampments in their communities.

If passed, the following amendments will apply to both the Community Charter (under section 274) and the Vancouver Charter (under section 334):

For the purposes of enforcing, under section 274/section 334, a bylaw against a person who is sheltering at an encampment while homeless, alternative shelter is reasonably available to the person and meets the basic needs of the person for shelter if:
(a) the person may stay overnight at the shelter,
(b) the person has access to a bathroom and shower at or near the shelter,
(c) the person is offered, without charge, one meal a day at or near the shelter, and
(d) the shelter is staffed when persons are sheltering at the shelter.

Read the Province's press release for more information. 

UBCM was not consulted on the legislation that was introduced in the BC legislature. UBCM will be reaching out to members to help guide further advocacy.

Please contact Marylyn Chiang Senior Policy Analyst, with feedback, questions, or concerns that you wish to convey to UBCM. Analyses of new housing and homelessness legislation will be released via the Compass and posted on the Housing section of the UBCM webpage.