Pivot Legal Society files appeal to BC Supreme Court Order after heavy-handed enforcement at Anita Place

For Immediate Release

February 25, 2019

Given the urgency of the situation, Pivot Legal Society is seeking to appear before the Court of Appeal on an expedited basis

Vancouver, BC – After witnessing the City of Maple Ridge’s aggressive, non-collaborative, and wrongful enforcement of Honourable Justice Grauer’s Supreme Court Order (the “Order”) pertaining to Anita Place tent city over the weekend, Pivot Legal Society has filed notice of leave to appeal the Order, which was issued February 8, 2019.

“We intend to appeal Justice Grauer’s Order on an expedited basis and inform the Court of the City and RCMP’s misconduct over the weekend, which included numerous and egregious contraventions of Justice Grauer’s decision,” said Caitlin Shane, staff lawyer with Pivot Legal Society. “The City refuses to collaborate and communicate with residents of Anita Place, despite their stated commitment to do so.”

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Using the law as a catalyst for positive social change, Pivot Legal Society works to improve the lives of marginalized communities.

Examples of City and RCMP misconduct include the following:

  • Shutting off heat to a warming tent, thereby removing vital respite for residents in freezing cold temperatures. Pivot Legal Society repeatedly requested to reinstate the power over the weekend on an emergency basis. Residents are still without heat. Pivot Legal Society, which represents residents of Anita Place, received no advance notice of power being cut off. Repeated pleas to the City, the Province of BC, and BC Housing have been met with finger pointing between government.
  • Impeding health care and service providers from entering Anita Place to provide support to residents.
  • Setting up an “exclusion zone” around Anita Place that hindered access for supporters and even some residents of the encampment, despite the RCMP being expressly denied this request by Justice Grauer in his Order during the recent Supreme Court hearing. The RCMP, who had no standing at the hearing, sought this order without notice to anyone, including the Court.
  • Preventing residents from accessing their homes. Many faced routine delays in entering the site, including one woman who was forced to wait behind barricades for over 45 minutes despite having difficulty standing due to physical mobility issues.

Peter Kim, Communications & Digital Engagement Manager
Pivot Legal Society
604-229-6128 (cell)
[email protected] (preferred)

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About Pivot Legal Society

Pivot Legal Society is a leading Canadian human rights organization that uses the law to address the root causes of poverty and social exclusion in Canada. Pivot’s award-winning work includes challenging laws and policies that force people to the margins of society and keep them there. Since 2002 Pivot has won major victories for sex workers’ rights, police accountability, affordable housing, and health and drug policy.