View all publications
View All
21Oct
2015

Abbotsford Bylaws Prohibiting Overnight Camping In Public Places Found Unconstitutional

In Abbotsford City v. Shantz, 2015 BCSC 1909, the Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court found a number of the City’s bylaws related to the use of public parks and spaces as they apply to the homeless to be of no force and effect pursuant to s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The declaration is limited to the prohibition on overnight stays in public places between 7 pm and 9 am.

The Court’s decision finds that the City is responsible for balancing the rights of the public to use public spaces the City owns and controls, and the liberty and security rights of the homeless to have a place to sleep. The Court finds that the City’s bylaws that prohibit the erection of tents in parks and roads to have a pressing and substantial purpose in terms of the public’s right to use parks and travel on roads. However, the Court finds that the prohibition on sleeping in all parks (without a permit), to impair the rights of the homeless beyond what is necessary to ensure the maintenance and public access to parks.

Download pdf: Abbotsford Bylaws Prohibiting Overnight Camping In Public Places Found Unconstitutional

Browse Client Bulletins

Stay Connected