B.C. is enacting a public safety order to move homeless people living in tent city encampments into hotels in Vancouver and Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ministers Mike Farnworth, Shane Simpson and Judy Darcy made the announcement, along with representatives from BC Housing on Saturday morning.
Simpson said encampments in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park, along with Victoria’s Topaz Park and Pandora corridor will be dismantled.
He said hotels and other sites will be used to keep people housed until more permanent housing is made available.
“I acknowledge that this will be welcome news for some,” Simpson said, addressing camp residents directly.
“It will cause anxiety and hesitation for others. Our priority is your health and safety … You will not be alone, and you will not be abandoned,” he said.
The deadline for the transition is May 9.
Earlier in April, the creation of a 60-room COVID-19 care facility in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside was announced to stop the spread of the coronavirus among the city’s most vulnerable residents.