The City of Moncton is in the process of dismantling a very large homeless encampment.
The encampment is located in a wooded area just off the highway in the city’s north end.
Moncton Fire Chief Conrad Landry said crews just completed the third week of dismantling the site, which he said had been there for some time.
The camp wasn’t causing any issues with the city, but a private land owner did ask for it to be removed.
Roughly 30-to-50 people were using the area and they were warned well in advance about the tear-down.
“It’s a little community there,” said Landry. “There’s two-storey structures, of course lots of tents. Lots of debris. And because it’s so kind of deep in the woods, we can’t just bring a big truck there and take a loader and put it in. It’s kind of a Kubota loader that’s got to bring every load literally shovel by shovel to clean that. That’s why it’s taking so long.”
The RCMP were involved in the operation, but Landry said they were not needed because there was no resistance from the people living on site.
“This particular crowd are most likely not going to go in shelters. These are the folks that want to live, they chose to live, I’m not saying they want to be homeless, but they choose to live without maybe rules or regulations,” said Landry.
Landry, who is also the city’s director of community services, said some of the people staying in the wooded site have re-established themselves elsewhere.
“We’re not naive to think that after this operation there’s 30 people that went into housing,” he said. “There’s still a lack of housing. There’s still some individuals that choose, that don’t want to house no matter what the offer is.”
Landry estimates it will take another couple of weeks to finish the clean-up.
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