Delegates from around the world are gathered in Vancouver this week to compare notes on affordable housing strategies.
But in an ironic twist, the event was briefly disrupted by a rowdy group of housing activists.
Chanting “Build homes now, build homes now, build homes now,” about half a dozen people jumped on the stage as officials were ushered off, and a brief scuffle took place.
One protester, who wanted only to be identified as Dave, says many were excluded from the summit.
“$375 attendance fee, and also this government, Mayor Gregor’s government just gave an eviction notice a couple of days ago to a homeless tent city in the Downtown Eastside.”
The group, Alliance Against Displacement are the same demonstrators who occupied an apartment building in Burnaby this summer to protest “demovictions” in the Metrotown neighbourhood.
“We feel that this conference for housing and homeless is a photo op for the mayor and for his government, the Vision Vancouver government.”
AAD's #readdresshousing disruption demands 1) F*ck the experts: build homes now 2) Abolish private property 3) Redistribution not innovation— Against Displacement (@stopdisplacemnt) October 27, 2016
In a statement thrown into the crowd of delegates, the group says it disrupted the event “because we have nothing to discuss with the experts assembled here,” instead demanding the immediate construction of new homes for refugees and for Canada’s homeless.
When the conference resumed, Robertson said he understands the frustration related to the lack of affordable housing in the city.
With files from Simon Little