Water Squatting: The Invisibility of the Homeless in the Canada
Tanveer M Siddiqui
Final Paper: Law 311
Word Count: 6825
The issue of homelessness in Canada has been ever increasing problem with an estimated 2,174 people in need of shelter daily in the Greater Vancouver Regional District alone. The government efforts to alleviate this problem have thus far been inadequate. Rather, there has been an outcropping of legislation, such as the BC Safe Streets Act, that further marginalizes the Homeless, pushing them to the periphery of society. These efforts can be seen as the result of conflicts over the numerous property interests, of which the homeless are but one. This paper seeks to analyze our private property system, its goals, and perpetuation to explain why so many of the conflicts over property interests result in a further marginalization of the homeless. In illustrating these arguments I will restrict my analysis to the context of the conflict over the use of False Creek. Furthermore, I will attempt to show how the ostensibly objective property system that we have adopted can act as the medium for personal biases, prejudices and non-legal interests.
In Section I will introduce some of the background context of the Homeless situation in British Columbia and an overview of the conflict over the use of False Creek between the surrounding private property owners (“the Residents”) and the Long Term Anchorers (“LTAs”). Section II, III and IV will attempt to outline the interests of the LTAs, the Residents and the State in this conflict. Finally, I will attempt to use the interests outlined to explain the outcome and resulting permit system in terms of the competing property claims and interests.
Section I: Background
On March 15 2005, a count of the homeless people indicated that there were 2,174 people in need of housing in the Greater Vancouver Regional District(GVRD). This was a 94% increase...