City hall is moving towards a court injunction to remove people occupying Grand Forks’ so-called “Moto” site.
Moto is a long-disused motocross site at the top of Morrissey Creek Road, where for years running people experiencing homelessness have lived in makeshift camps on the eastern outskirts of the city. The site has been put forward as a potential location for a supportive housing facility and a year-round shelter, according to ongoing negotiations between the city, BC Housing and housing minister David Eby.
City council directed staff to prepare for an injunction at a closed meeting Tuesday, June 29. Mayor Brian Taylor said he’d called the meeting to address recent vandalism and escalating threats against city workers by Moto residents.
Taylor stressed his and council’s concern for city workers’ safety, saying, “they were just doing their jobs” when they were harassed by Moto residents during recent site visits by a number of government agencies. Two men known to live at Moto were later filmed dumping trash on city hall’s steps, Taylor said.
“That was clearly the precipitating factor here,” he told The Gazette.
No injunction has been filed as of Wednesday evening, June 30, staff said, qualifying a recent post to the city’s Facebook page. The city has recently given written trespass notices to Moto residents at four different encampments on the site, according to staff. The notices further explain that the residents are violating city bylaws.
There will be no need for an injunction if campers choose to leave Moto, staff said. But given that some residents have been there for 18 months, staff qualified that it was “almost absolutely certain” that the city would pursue an injunction.