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Removal of East Hastings tent city delayed again amid tensions

Last month, the Vancouver fire chief issued an order to remove the tents because they pose a significant fire hazard

Scenes from the Downtown Eastside (DTES) as the City complied with the Vancouver Fire Department's order to clear tents from the sidewalks for health and safety reasons in Vancouver, BC., on August 9, 2022.
Scene of the Downtown East Side (DTES) as followed on August 9, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia. PHOTO BY NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

We arrived in East Hastings on a tense Tuesday afternoon. But it wasn't the tent city that occupied a few blocks.

Vancouver Police said just before 3:00 p.m. Staff at the Carnegie Center said, ``a man threw his computer at him and reported him behaving strangely,''

``when the police were detaining him, the man He resisted arrest and fought with the police," the VPD said. press release. "Large crowds gathered and turned hostile and militant with the officers. Several police officers were assaulted. Multiple arrests were made."

Standing in Hastings and Main Images of the police phalanx in action immediately circulated on social media. But it had nothing to do with the tent city moving day.

Several Vancouver police officers respond to a disturbance in the Downtown Eastside on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. (Earl Webber/ Submitted)
Several Vancouver police officers were seen on the downtown Eastside on Tuesday. in response to the disruption, 9 August 2022. (Earl Webber/submission) Photo by Earl Webber /Submission

Maine and Columbia from morning till early afternoon. There has been talk in the streets that the city wants to remove the tents from in front of his infamous SRO, the Regent Hotel, which was shut down by the city of Vancouver in 2018.

A tent tarp completely covers the sidewalk in front of the Regent. In theory, a number of garbage bins were placed on the street for Regent tenters to put their stuff. But by late afternoon, nothing seemed to have changed. The tent was still there.

Francesca Leo lives for several weeks in a tent under the Regent's 'Pub Entrance' sign. However, she has lived in Hastings for about nine months.

Leo had filled out an application for BC. Residential with her support workers on Tuesday morning. But she had no idea what the City had planned for Regent Tenter.

"They didn't say a word to me the whole time," said Leo, a 45-year-old First Her Nation woman who grew up in the Fraser Valley.

"I don't know what to do. I should be in a major hotspot, but they haven't spoken to me once in the last few days." }

She did say, "They made us change our packing three times."

The camp in front of the Regent Hotel on East Hastings Tuesday.
East Hastings Camp in front of the Regent Hotel on Tuesday. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO/PNG

Regent Her tenter Alan Heath said she preferred life on the streets to SRO rice field. I was attacked and beaten. ``I feel safer in my tent here than in the buildings around here,'' said Heath, who will turn 60 on Aug. 30. It's much more peaceful here in a tent.

Like many people on the streets, Heath has had a rough life.

"I've been off and on with Penn for his 28 years," said Heath, who was born and raised in East Van. "I did 16 bank robberies in 12 days on my bike. It's part of my addiction, yes, it was rock cocaine. (But) I haven't smoked rock in 16 years."

He laughed. "I haven't robbed a bank in 17 years."

A couple moved into a room at the Arco Hotel. But it wasn't through the efforts of the City or BC.Housing—they had friends who worked there and they said they had rooms.

Collette Wolfe and Duncan Ragler have been living in Hastings near Regent for about a month. But they're on the Downtown East Side where he's been for five years.

"Basically, we've been living on the streets for the past five years because living in a Brandis [hotel] is like living on the streets," said an Alberta native. said Ragler, who is 29 years old. ``If you live there, you might as well live on the street.''

``I'd rather sleep in Hastings than in the Brandis Hotel. That's all there is to it," said Wolfe, 31, a native of Saskatchewan. "Seriously. He slept there and I slept outside."

"Really," said Ragler.

One of the people camped out in front of the Regent Hotel on East Hastings Tuesday.

In a news release, the City of Vancouver said: and is expected to continue over the next few weeks.” He also urged the media to “take a trauma-based approach and respect distancing requests and/or directives by city officials and police during filming.” I asked.

However, East Her Hastings did not have a city communications staff, so Co-Op Radio's Cheryle Gunargie helped reporters prepare interviews and photos. City officials had been instructed not to speak to the media, but non-media were able to get information from them.900 Block East Cordova.

Captain Matthew Trudeau of the Vancouver Fire Department was also on standby, swarming the press.

Authorities have issued orders to clear sidewalks due to fire hazards. Trudeau said he had 1,016 "damaging fires" on the downtown East Side so far this year. He also said the VFD responded to 7,700 overdoses across the city last year. Many of them were on the Downtown Eastside.

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