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Penticton bylaws go by boat to dismantle growing encampment

The occupant was given notice and connected with social services
Penticton city bylaws removed two boat loads of garbage, tars and other other items from an encampment on the Esplanade. (City of Penticton)

Penticton’s bylaw department, with support from other city departments, went in by boat and cleared a growing encampment that had developed along the Esplanade that had become a safety concern. Bylaws had received complaints about the camp located at the far end of Okanagan Lake, past the Marina and tennis courts.

Bylaw determined that it was a potential safety risk to the occupants and the surrounding area.

As part of their work, the occupant of the encampment was given notice he needed to relocate and was connected with social services and a shelter option.

He was provided alternative options and was able to remove items he wanted to keep. The remaining items were then removed.

Because the location was difficult to access by land, the city’s boat was used. It took two boat full loads to remove all the tarps, items and garbage left behind.

This remote spot is a particular favourite location to set up camp for those experiencing homelessness. Last year, bylaws had to come in by boat to remove a large amount of garbage and debris that was getting into the water because of a growing encampment.

In April 2022, a fire was located in the hilly brush behind the marina. According to RCMP a massive log structure akin to a log cabin was destroyed by fire in the middle of the night. No one was injured.

According to assistant fire chief Rob Trupp, the area has seen repeat visits from the fire department over the years involving brush fires, makeshift shelters and first response calls that have become more frequent in recent years.

READ MORE: Log-cabin style shelter goes up in flames behind marina

Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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