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Full-time residents of North Vancouver marina learn they won't be evicted after all

Residents Jeff Bartlett and Sasha Selby are pictured at the Mosquito Creek Marina in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday. They learned Thursday that they won't have to leave their homes. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Residents Jeff Bartlett and Sasha Selby are pictured at the Mosquito Creek Marina in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday. They learned Thursday that they won't have to leave their homes. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

Just days after being told they needed to vacate their homes within the next six months, about 200 full-time residents of a North Vancouver marina have been told they'll be allowed to stay.

At a virtual meeting on Thursday, tenants at Mosquito Creek Marina (MCM) say representatives of the Nch'ḵay̓ Development Corporation, an arm of the Squamish First Nation, told them that people living permanently on boats or in converted boat sheds won't be evicted as previously planned.

A memo posted on the Nch'ḵay̓ website Friday says the marina will "take action to repair and reorganize" the docks so that permitted tenants can stay.

Part-time residents and other boaters with moorage at the marina will still have to vacate.

Sasha Selby greeted the news with mixed emotions. She and her family have lived in a boat shed and boat in the marina for the last nine years, and she runs a business there as well.

"As a mother with children, the thought of not having housing and being displaced and losing my job and losing everything, that's a horrible feeling that I don't wish on anyone — so to feel comforted on that end obviously feels good," she said.

"On the flip side, I have many, many, many, many relationships in this marina that don't have those same answers."

Nch'ḵay̓ had told residents and boaters in an email on Tuesday that the nearly 500 boats and 83 boat sheds at the marina needed to be gone by May 31, 2024, to allow for urgent dock repairs.

'Safety is our top priority'

Friday's memo from the development corporation says many of the docks are showing "widespread and severe deterioration," and the deadline was decided to allow the maximum feasible time to start the repairs.

"We understand this news will be difficult for some, especially those who have moored at MCM for many years, but safety is our top priority and implementation of time-critical repairs is an immediate necessity," the memo says.

It goes on to say that other marinas have been contacted about the need for space when the boaters are evicted from their slips.

The Mosquito Creek Marina in North Vancouver, B.C., is shown from above on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023.
The Mosquito Creek Marina in North Vancouver, B.C., is shown from above on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023.

The Mosquito Creek Marina in North Vancouver, B.C., is seen from the air on Wednesday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Ginger Gosnell-Myers, who lives in a float home at the marina, said it's been a difficult week dealing with the shifting news and unanswered questions.

"The information has been delivered so haphazardly and poorly. It's obvious that there wasn't a plan for this," she said.

"Everything that we've gone through in the last few days was incredibly traumatic and upsetting. It didn't have to go this way at all."

Gosnell-Myers and other residents of the 50 float homes at Mosquito Creek were not affected by the planned eviction.

But she also has a boat at the marina, and she's not sure where she'll be able to find moorage if it's removed, or if it'll ever be allowed to return to Mosquito Creek once the dock repairs are complete.

"We didn't learn whether or not this is going to be a marina for recreational vessels. We don't even know if there's a role for us as residents in that planning process," she said.

The latest memo from marina management says: "We do not have a plan for the marina beyond ensuring the safety of people and the environment."

It goes on to say that after emergency repairs are completed to stabilize the docks, planning will begin on whether to rehabilitate or redevelop the site.