Challenge to anti-camping bylaw in Abbotsford

In 2015, the Supreme Court of B.C. delivered a ground-breaking ruling in favour of a community of homeless people represented by Pivot. After hearing directly from the people most affected, the Court confirmed the right to shelter overnight, making it clear that no municipality is immune from the obligation to protect the dignity and safety of their homeless community members. The Court went beyond finding that prohibitions on being in or sheltering in a park overnight violate Section 7 of the Charter, which protects individuals’ safety and security of person, to also find that homeless people require shelter on a more than overnight basis. In order to uphold the rights of homeless people, municipalities must ensure that space exists at all times where homeless people can sleep, rest, shelter, stay warm, eat, wash and attend to personal hygiene. These are the building blocks to a right to an adequate standard of living for all people in Canada.