The homeless protest camp on the former MSA Hospital grounds in Abbotsford has now been cleared away.
Fraser Health workers moved the occupants’ belongings yesterday (Thursday) and extended the fence to the correct property line on the eastern border of the site, located at 2179 McCallum Rd.
Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma said the dismantling of the camp was a “slow, but very smooth, process.”
She said Abbotsford Police officers were in attendance all day to ensure there were no issues, but Juma said there were no confrontations or arrests.
Juma said support services that were on site for several hours during the cleanup included 5 and 2 Ministries, the Salvation Army, the City of Abbotsford’s homeless outreach co-ordinator, and three staff from Fraser Health Mental Health and Substance Use.
The campers had been occupying the previously unfenced portion of the property since mid-July, but Fraser Health – which owns the land – obtained a court injunction last Friday (Sept. 16), stating that the campers were to vacate by 10 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19.
The injunction also gave Fraser Health the authority to move the campers’ belongings after the deadline, if they hadn’t done it themselves.
Local pot activist Tim Felger said he organized the camp as a protest by the Drug War Survivors to spread information and awareness about the “drug war,” harm reduction and the need for more affordable housing and social services.
About a dozen campers and five or six tents occupied the land.
Fraser Health took the campers to court after written and verbal notices to evict them hadn’t worked.
The judge agreed with the agency’s legal arguments that the property was private land, while Felger argued it was public land and the campers had every right to be there.