Old Strathcona encampment moves, organizers say it will be set up at new, undisclosed Edmonton location

One day ahead of a deadline the city set for the Peace Camp to move from Wilbert McIntyre Park, those who have been living there all started the move to a new, undisclosed location.

Read more: City of Edmonton expects ‘peaceful and voluntary closure’ of Old Strathcona camp by Sept. 28

The camp has been at the park since Sept. 5, and initially began after its organizers said several tent sites in the River Valley were taken down by city officials.

The deadline of Sept. 28 as the close-down goal for the site was decided after discussion with city officials. The city had initially asked the camp to be moved by Sept. 18, but it was granted an extension after camp organizers asked for help connecting those living there with social services.

Camp representatives said Sunday that they were planning to move to another location in the city, although would not specify where that would be.

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“The action from the city hasn’t been good enough,” said Cameron Noyes, a spokesperson for the camp. “We haven’t had a lot of tangible action from the city. We’ll figure out some new stuff.

“The one thing in the end that we all agreed on is we couldn’t let the group of people camping here go back to Mill Creek.”

Noyes said the camp should be dismantled from Old Strathcona by 8 p.m. Sunday, and then the work to move the campers to the new location will happen over the next few hours after that.

Read more: Discussions continue about encampment in Old Strathcona: city

He added that another camp needs to be constructed because the organizers don’t feel comfortable letting people go without a safe place to sleep.

“They’re just less vulnerable from everything — the elements, other people, police,” he said. “They’re just safer where they are.”

City officials had previously told Global News that those in the camp should go to 24/7 shelters once it is dismantled. 

Read more: Winterization efforts underway at Edmonton’s Camp Pekiwewin

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Camp Pekiwewin, another homeless encampment in the Rossdale neighbourhood, has not been given a deadline to move.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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