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Vancouver Officials Held A Press Conference To Discuss Measures To Demolish Structures In The Downtown Eastside

On Wednesday, August 24, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart will host a press conference to update the city’s efforts to demolish buildings in the Downtown Eastside.

Stewart, Paul Mochrie, Vancouver city manager, BC Housing’s Dale McMann and Vancouver Fire Rescue Chief Karen Fry will be there to answer questions. The conference is supposed to start at 10 am. 

Recently, the controversial Hastings Street encampment has been the subject of much debate, with locals, the homeless, the city, and the Vancouver Fire Rescue Services all voicing their concerns.

Vancouver Fire Rescue issued a previous order to remove all structures from the roadway for fire safety reasons.

 More than 1,000 fires have been causing damage in the region since the beginning of the year. 

A three-building fire that broke out on Monday, one block from Oppenheimer Park in the Downtown Eastside, displaced 59 people from their homes. The other two buildings are hotels with single-room occupancy. 

According to fire investigators, the fire was likely sparked when some trash caught fire and spread before responders could put it out.

Impacted people who became homeless and advocates spoke out against plans to demolish buildings that are part of a tent city in the 100 block of East Hastings Street.

Speakers stood in front of the large banner “Where are we supposed to go?” voicing their frustration. 

Eli, the organizer of Stop the Sweeps, addressed the gathering, “By displaying people sheltered on Hastings, the city is really sweeping the housing crisis under the rug.”

They’re penalizing the people experiencing the symptoms rather than treating the disease’s underlying cause, Eli added. 

Presented by CTC News