A newly elected regional councilor said it should be up to the new council to decide if and when an eviction order is enforced at an encampment on Weber and Victoria streets in Kitchener.
Rob Deutschmann says he intends to move a motion requiring council approval before any enforcement action, regardless of the court’s decision on the region’s current injunction request.
“I consider this to be a major, important and highly publicized decision that is really up to the board,” Deutschmann said.
The comment comes as later this month will also mark one year since the sudden eviction from an encampment on Stirling Avenue, and the ensuing backlash.
“It was pretty clear that at that time the staff was operating under a certain set of guidelines, but the board was unaware of it,” Deutschmann said. “Community concern and community backlash over this is a matter for council, so I think it is important for council to have [it’s] say.”
He went on to suggest that if the new council were to give the app the go-ahead, its vote would be to hold pending improvements to available alternatives – such as a region-sanctioned indoor/outdoor hybrid camp still in the works.
“Accommodation spaces are clearly not working,” Deutschmann said. “They don’t provide the security that people are looking for, the privacy, the dignity that people are looking for, and so we need to make improvements there.”
“We [also] We have to move as fast as we can on the hybrid camp option so we can develop, maybe, ‘A Better Tent City II,’ for example,” he continued. “There’s a lot to TO DO [and]frankly, I think the resources spent on this lawsuit could have been better spent elsewhere.”
I have pledged to file a motion requesting that the Region of Waterloo not proceed with any evictions in the event that the court approves the right-of-way application. In the alternative, I will request that no action be taken without the approval of the board. I’ve heard enough.
— Rob Deutschmann (@robdeutschmann) November 7, 2022