UPDATE: Chilliwack River homeless campers handed trespass notices

Group accused of property thefts from nearby homes have until Dec. 12 to be gone

The group of individuals who have been illegally camping on Crown land in the Chilliwack River Valley have less than two weeks to be gone.

The campers were issued trespass notices on Tuesday under the Land Act, which means they have between seven and 14 days to be gone, according to the provincial government.

• READ MORE: Last days for notorious homeless camp

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations told The Progress last week that enforcement was coming by early this week. He confirmed the evictions were ordered on Nov. 28, giving them until Dec. 12 to be gone with their possessions.

Syringes seen in the homeless camp in the banks of the Chilliwack River near the Vedder Bridge. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)<

The now notorious homeless camp near Teskey Rock just up-river from the Vedder Bridge is littered with syringes, garbage and various tools and household items many neighbours say have been stolen from homes in the area.

(See below for more photos)

The site is full of bikes and bike parts, backyard tools, electronic items, clothing, DVDs, sports equipment and garbage, including syringes.

The camp has been there for months, at least since another nearby camp was dismantled in March. There, officials removed more than 17,000 pounds of garbage and hundreds of syringes.

READ MORE: More than 17,000 pounds of garbage removed from Chilliwack River homeless camp

Resident and local angler James McGillivary is angry nothing was done about the camp he has been complaining about for weeks.

“It’s an environmental hazard,” he said. “It’s on a flood plain. Once the water comes up, the needles and stuff I’ve seen down there is going to flow through the river system and stab some poor fisherman.”

That was before the high water that hit on Nov. 23 at which time a great deal of garbage and even syringes were covered and water, some washing down river.

McGillivary is happy the site will be cleaned up but he calls it “too little too late.”

The camp and others further to the west have been there for months, but with the foliage dropping in autumn, the mess became plain to see form Chilliwack Lake Road. A ministry spokesperson said a Natural Resource Officer and a Conservation Officer visited on Oct. 31 at which time the illegal occupants were spoken with and given a verbal warning they would be evicted soon.

Looking past the alleged and ongoing property crime, the drug paraphernalia discarded and other environmental mess left behind, some critics have suggested these people have nowhere to go.

“A lot of work goes into organizing the dismantling of illegal camps and many different interest groups are involved,” the ministry spokesperson said.

That includes the ministries of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (Natural Resource Officers), and Environment and Climate Change Strategy (Conservation Officer Service), along with the City of Chilliwack, RCMP, social workers, security and a disposal company.

Also likely to get involved are local cleanup groups, and the Soowahlie First Nation has some interest in the land in question.

After Dec. 12, Land Act seizure notices will be served on anyone left, and RCMP, BCOS officers and others “participating in this project” will move in to clean up.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The homeless camp in the banks of the Chilliwack River near the Vedder Bridge just metres away from signs prohibiting camping and polluting. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

The homeless camp in the banks of the Chilliwack River near the Vedder Bridge. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Libraries call on reading buddies, dads to take part in literacy programs in Chilliwack

The annual Reading Buddies program and the brand-new Man in the Moon story time start this month

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

Chilliwack Chiefs blow out Prince George Spruce Kings in home opener

Ethan Bowen scored three goals as the Chiefs dumped their Mainland division rivals 6-2.

Missing Chilliwack 17-year-old last seen on August 20

RCMP asking public for help to find Lorenz Pentz

Blowback from the Trudeau in brownface debacle reaches Chilliwack

PM in questionable photos released in the middle of the federal election campaign had ripple effects

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Turbo and Lily at the Chilliwack SPCA

Say hello to Turbo and Lily, a pair of one-year-old dogs up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Surrey school district OKs students skipping class for global climate strike

Students must be excused from school by parents; will be able to make up missed work without penalty

Most Read