Advertisement

Vancouver officials expected to announce CRAB Park cleanup

The tent city at CRAB park in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, pictured in June 2022. (Justine Boulin/CBC - image credit)
The tent city at CRAB park in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, pictured in June 2022. (Justine Boulin/CBC - image credit)

City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board staff are expected to announce a plan to "address health and safety concerns in CRAB Park" on Tuesday morning.

An announcement for a news conference said staff will carry out a full cleanup of the park's "daytime area" so that it's "safer and cleaner" for park users.

It says people living in tents in the park will be provided with a temporary sheltering space in the meantime — but residents and advocates claim the cleanup is a "guise" to decamp people from the tent city.

"This is a forced removal of people from their homes that will result in the destruction of those homes and people's lives made less safe," said advocacy group Stop the Sweeps on X, formerly known as Twitter.


The group says the park board is citing health and fire concerns, but adds that there have been no orders from either Vancouver Coastal Health or Vancouver Fire Rescue Services to carry out the cleanup.

In 2022, after months of battling the park board on the issue, CRAB Park residents won a B.C. Supreme Court decision that allowed them to stay in a designated area.

The park board had attempted to evict residents there in 2021.

CRAB Park advocate Fiona York said on CBC's The Early Edition that the designation was "the first of its kind in the country" that allowed residents to "leave their tents up day and night."

Since then, disputes have continued between city officials and residents, including park rangers preventing advocates from building insulated tiny homes in the winter, and a human rights complaint against the city and park board for failing to provide basic facilities.