Rail campers displaced from Surrey parks

Surrey bylaw official says the city has to work a delicate balance in keeping everyone safe

Homeless people setting up camp near railway tracks are believed to have been displaced from Newton parks.

Surrey’s manager of bylaw enforcement Jas Rehal said summer has brought on significant activity in Newton green spaces, particularly Unwin Park (13313 68 Ave.) and Hyland Park (6542 138 St.).

“What’s happened is we’ve been doing some enforcement over the park lands,” Rehal said Wednesday. “I think we’ve displaced them from the parks, and then they went toward the railway tracks.”

About three months ago, Southern Rail of British Columbia (SRBC) noticed homeless camps along it’s rail line through Newton, particularly from 64 Avenue and 152 Street to 72 Avenue and King George Boulevard.

A large camp was also found by the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

J. Singh Biln, director of community relations for SRBC said it’s of great concern to the railway because people could get hurt.

“It’s really just the last three months that it’s really, really increased significantly,” Biln told The Leader Wednesday.”It’s so dangerous to be near trains.”

He said it’s too frequent that it happens where people throughout the world are injured or killed by trains.

Just last fall, near Old Yale and South Fraser Perimeter Road, there was such a tragedy.

“We had some young people who had been partying up by the (Fraser) river, and they went for a joyride on a train,” Biln said. “And a young lady – 16 years old – lost her arm above the elbow.”

Railway staff are all too aware similar injuries or worse could happen any time.

Biln and Rehal are working together to bring an end to the rail encampments.

Rehal said the challenge is keeping them from going to the train tracks, while not having them in city parks when they are being used by kids.

Rehal said the best of all situations is to find them housing, but he notes some of the people are resistant to offers of permanent shelter.

 

Just Posted

Where are Delta’s missing salmon?

Cougar Creek is seeing lower-than-usual returns of spawning salmon. The Blob may be the reason.

UPDATE: Suspect of interest ID’d after man shot near Surrey school

Police don’t know what motive was in shooting near Surrey-Delta border

VIDEO: MP details what gang and housing announcements mean for Surrey

Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai speaks about recent funding commitments

Double graves coming to Surrey civic cemeteries for the first time

Surrey council approves cemetery bylaw changes, which will also allow upright headstones

COLUMN: Cannabis legalization brings challenges for Canadian police

Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord talks about the challenges police face as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: ‘Glow Christmas’ opens for the holiday season

Massive Langley light show features 500,000 lights

Last days for notorious homeless camp in Chilliwack River Valley

One local sports fisher frustrated by slow response from police and all levels of government

Fuel spill follows train derailment near Hell’s Gate

Empty grain train jumped the track after a landslide

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Most Read