Halifax prepared to use police to clear park encampment after other efforts fail

·1 min read

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage says it could be necessary to use police to clear homeless people from a tent encampment in a city park because “extensive” alternative efforts have not worked.

Last month, the city cited health and safety concerns, including a rat infestation, as it told people living in Meagher Park they had to leave by July 17 so work could begin to clean up the park.

During a special meeting Tuesday, municipal councillors endorsed a plan allowing the city to call on Halifax Regional Police to remove those still living in Meagher Park after the deadline for leaving passed.

Calista Hills, a volunteer who works with residents at the park, says there are nine people currently living there.

In June, the city approved four parks where up to 32 people without homes can set up tents and receive services that include bathrooms, but Meagher Park, near the city's downtown, was not on the list.

Hills says some residents have considered moving to one of the four approved tent sites, but they fear losing the sense of community and the support provided at the park.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 4, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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