Halifax Regional Municipality says residents living or sheltering in a city park have 12 days to leave the park or they could face fines and police intervention.

In a statement Tuesday morning, the borough said Meagher Park will close beginning at noon Tuesday “for reconstruction work.” Those staying there will have a “transition period” until July 17 to move in.

“Health and safety conditions in the park have continued to worsen in recent months, placing those who take refuge in this location in an increasingly vulnerable situation,” the statement read.

This comes just weeks after the regional council approved four municipal parks as areas where homeless people can camp.

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a June 14 Parks and Recreation staff report he said the city is “in a housing and homeless crisis.”

Max Chauvin, the manager of special projects for Parks and Recreation, told council members that the number of people who had registered in the city looking for housing had increased 12.6 percent between April 19 and June 31. May. Marginalized communities, including people of indigenous origin. and former youth under guardianship, are overrepresented in the figures.

The designated areas are Green Road Park and Geary Street Green Space in Dartmouth, as well as Barrington Street Green Space and Lower Flinn Park in Halifax. The report said more than 30 people could “sleep rough in the community” under this plan.

Those sites have portable toilets and trash cans, while portable water, storage boxes and needle boxes are being added.

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Meagher Park was not on the list.

A Twitter user posted a “Notice to Vacate/Exit” that was allegedly given to those who lived in the park, also known as People’s Park.

The notice reads in part: “No public entry or use of the Park will be permitted after 12:00 p.m. on July 5, 2022. This includes the construction, placement, or maintenance of anything for the purpose of temporary accommodation. or permanent. .”

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It also says the township “directs anyone who has erected or placed anything in Meagher Park…to remove that shelter, including any tents, and all personal belongings.”

Failure to follow the instructions in the notice “is a crime,” the city said in the notice. Consequences could include fines and removal of the property by law enforcement officers.

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In the town’s statement to the public, he said many of those who live in Meagher Park have accepted housing from service providers. These include Street Outreach Navigators and Housing Support Workers.

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“Municipal staff visited the park today to provide those currently sheltering in the park with information about available resources, inform them that the park will be closed, and explain the transition period so they do not have to leave the park immediately,” it reads. in the statement. .

“The city’s priority has been, and continues to be, treating the homeless with dignity and continuing to find ways to support them within the capacity and reach of our organization.”

The municipality said that once the park is empty, it will be completely fenced off for reconstruction work “to return the park to its original state.”

— With files from Rebecca Lau.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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