PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. –
The City of Prince George, BC, has apologized for the harm it caused to vulnerable people when it removed their structures from a homeless camp.
The city also says in a separate statement issued Thursday that it is withdrawing its appeal of court decisions that had refused to issue injunctions against homeless encampments.
The city says it is now re-evaluating its approach and response to homelessness and the sites where people camp.
A BC Supreme Court judge found that Prince George “inflicted serious harm on vulnerable people” when he removed shelters from an encampment, and the city statement says it sincerely apologizes to all those who experienced trauma.
The statement says the city dismantled part of the site believing that the shelters had been abandoned and it regrets any harms caused by its actions.
Prince George says even with the best intentions and the support of the provincial government and BC Housing, it remains an extraordinarily complex and difficult issue.
The city says it acted in good faith throughout the process.
“The intention of the city has been to advance and protect the interests, health and safety of all the city’s residents, including encampment occupants, downtown business operators, and residents of the nearby Millar Addition subdivision,” its statement says.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 24, 2022.