Homeless cannot set fires for heat, cooking

“Many homeless obviously like Kamloops. Who wouldn’t? Three-quarters of them have lived here for over a year.

You don’t hear much about the hundreds of homeless who quietly camp out. I see their encampments by the river near my house in Westsyde this time of year.”

Eye View

Will Beatty, Emergency Preparedness Manager for the City of Kamloops, suggests that the homeless could be justified in setting open fires.

image: CTV News Kitchner

“We have to understand that necessities of life are usually the reason why either the vulnerable or marginalized population are setting fires,” says Beatty. “If it’s to cook, if it’s to stay warm (Radio NL April 25, 2023).”

Open fires require a permit and it’s not likely that the homeless have one. They could get by without a permit: “Open cooking fires in non-combustible containers using only briquettes or CSA-approved propane or natural gas cooking appliances,” according to the city website.

Was Beatty thinking of the rights of the homeless under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

In 2015, B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson ruled that the homeless people are allowed to erect temporary shelters between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. because…

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