Homeless win legal battle to sleep in public parksHomeless people have a right to camp in public parks, a Canadian court has ruled.
Because there are not enough safe and secure beds for the homeless, it was unconstitutional for the city of Victoria to prevent them from erecting some form of shelter to protect themselves from the elements.
Victoria's laws “violate ... the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in that they deprive homeless people of life, liberty and security of the person in a manner not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice,” the decision said.
The decision came three years after a group was arrested in October 2005 for setting up a "tent city" in a Victoria park. The eviction sparked the court challenge.
Lawyer Catherine Boies Parker, who acted on behalf of the homeless campers, confirmed the 108-page judgment by the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that the rights of the homeless were violated by a City of Victoria bylaw that prohibits using "temporary abodes" like tents and large tarpaulins for shelter in parks and public spaces.
Read the Globe and Mail report here.