Encampment/Unsheltered Citizens

You may have noticed an encampment, tents set up in the Pembina / Bishop Grandin cloverleaf, just north of Lot 88 Restaurant.  This is the only encampment in the Waverley West ward that I am aware of. Please know this encampment is being actively monitored by the Winnipeg Police and Main Street Project.

Main Street Project is going out regularly to assess and provide help to the people – with the ultimate goal of not having anyone living in tents on this site. Please see Van Patrol Outreach Program.

Also see Encampments on public property. This is the approach the City is taking on homeless camps.

  • The City of Winnipeg is taking a ‘humanistic help’ approach vs a ‘bring the equipment in and remove’ approach. IF the City brings equipment in to remove, the people will relocate and set up a camp somewhere else.

The GOAL is to get the people who are living in the encampments the help they need – no one wants to be living in these conditions, there are mental health and other issues that cause this.

The City is accessing the Main Street Project organization which has a vehicle to respond to the City’s calls – 24 x 7 – around the clock to address where encampments are on PUBLIC LANDS.

  • When a call is made, the City dispatches the Main Street Project to assess and see what help is required. Please see Encampment Support Process.
  • The goal is to ‘help’ vs just remove, as most if not all of these individuals need help.

What is KEY is:

  • For any ongoing or imminent criminal activity or a person who may be in medical distress, the Winnipeg Police Service or Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services will be dispatched
  • If they are using public space for drug injection / a washroom, that is a criminal activity and WPS can be called
  • Main Street project staff are also working with area businesses to ensure they are aware of the encampment and what do to if they need support.

Please know we are working on this –– but these are humans and we have to approach with compassion.


Legalities of Tenting on Public Property

While I agree with trying to provide support and help to people, we must recognize we are a society that is organized by laws, that should be enforced. If we do not enforce laws, eventually, situations evolve that are extremely difficult to control and can negatively impact society as a whole.

  • The Parks By-law 85/2009 (page 7) states: “Unless authorized by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) , a person must not set up a tent or a recreational vehicle in a park and a person must not sleep overnight in a park.”

The Mayor and the Executive Policy Committee have the authority to direct the CAO. The direction the CAO is receiving is to ‘leave the encampments in place and have Main Street Project work with the unsheltered people to provide support’.  I know these are complex issues that take time to solve, but I would like to see four weeks of trying to provide support, then removal of the encampment.  Encampments bring many additional issues to a community which can have significant negative impacts.

Also please know, members of the Winnipeg Police Service do not enforce City of Winnipeg by-laws.