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)

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Just Posted

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in Pitt Meadows

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

IIO recommends no charges in Maple Ridge police shooting

Kyaw Din was killed by the RCMP during a mental health incident in August 2019

Horgan promises more child care at $10 per day during Maple Ridge visit

Liberals say the NDP has failed to deliver on daycare

Rivers could rise rapidly as heavy rains hit Lower Mainland

Larger rivers to reach peak levels on Thursday or into Friday, according to high streamflow advisory

B.C. election campaign comes to Ridge Meadows Thursday

Horgan in Maple Ridge, Wilkinson in Pitt Meadows

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Increased border enforcement curbs cross-line parties at Peace Arch State Park

Gatherings between U.S. and Canadian citizens ‘a daily carnival’ – resident

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Mounties impound car of impaired driver celebrating birthday in North Vancouver

RCMP say the person was driving with their headlights off

Most Read