With files from Jeremy Lye
A group of protesters occupying a vacant apartment building in Burnaby to protest so-called “demovictions” say they’re expecting to be served with an injunction tomorrow.
Demonstrators have been occupying the building on Imperial St. since Saturday.
Organizers say an injunction hearing is set for tomorrow morning and developer Amacon, which owns the building, will be arguing it needs to clear the site to begin work.
Dave Diewert with The Alliance Against Displacement says he expects the developer to act swiftly.
“Probably sooner than later, the owner has plans for a hazmat team to come in here on Monday in preparation for the demolition of these buildings which is slated for August first.”
But Diewert says protesters are willing to “resist removal” if the injunction is made against them, saying the public needs to know what’s happening in that community.
“So many people don’t know what’s going on, don’t know the mass displacement that’s happening in Metrotown that is orchestrated by the city which leaves hundreds of thousands without homes.”
Organizers say Amacon wants to have crews removing hazardous material by Monday, with demolition slated for early August.
The issue of development in Burnaby’s Metrotown has been heating up in recent months.
Residents say hundreds of units of affordable rental have already been demolished as the city pushes to increase density around the busy transit hub.
Burnaby recently signaled its intent under a proposed new Metrotown Development Plan to turn the area into its official ‘downtown,’ a move that would see a vast swath of the area re-zoned for towers 12-40 storeys tall.
Protesters and residents say they are being forced out and are unable to find other housing at comparable rates.
But Burnaby’s Mayor says the development is needed in a rapidly growing area, and that the land is simply too valuable to be retained for aging low-rise rental.