Ontario court denies Kingston’s request to clear Belle Park encampment

Signs hanging at the Frontenac County Courthouse. Photo by Christena Lawrie.
Christena Lawrie - CFRC - KingstonON | 28-11-2023
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The Ontario Superior Court has denied the City of Kingston’s request for an order to clear the encampment at Belle Park.

At the end of October, representatives for the City of Kingston and for residents of the encampment at Belle Park each presented their submissions before Justice Ian Carter. After two days of hearings at the Frontenac County Courthouse and receiving written submissions throughout November, Justice Carter ruled against the city.

The bylaw the City was aiming to invoke in order to evict residents of the encampment prohibits camping equipment in parks. In his 44-page decision, Justice Carter found the provisions of the bylaw unconstitutional “...to the extent that they prevent homeless persons from camping overnight in public parks”. In addition, Justice Carter made an exception to the bylaw, determining that homeless individuals are entitled to use camping equipment overnight. 

Justice Carter also left the door open for the city to apply for a new injunction in the future.

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