The Law of Tent Cities

October 24, 2016 – Tent cities have become a fixture of urban life in British Columbia. In two recent cases the BC courts have examined the law related to tent cities in Abbotsford and Victoria. Hear housing and homelessness lawyer DJ Larkin of the Pivot Legal Society discuss her work on the case Abbotsford (City) v. Shantz. Then hear Stephen Portman of Victoria anti-poverty advocacy organization Together Against Poverty Society (TAPS) talk about the homeless encampment in Victoria dubbed the Super InTent City. This tented community existed for nearly 10 months on the courthouse lawn in Victoria and was home to upwards of 120 individuals at its height. We talk about the provincial government’s efforts to shut down the tent city in the case British Columbia v. Adamson. Why do people who are homeless turn to tent cities instead of shelters? What does the government need to prove when they want to shut down a tent city? And how did these tent cities benefit their inhabitants?