MOTI completed garbage clean up on north end of Vernon at long-time problem site

Clean up complete

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is keeping an eye on the overpass on the north end of Vernon.

Garbage has accumulated in the area multiple times, and MOTI confirmed to Castanet that it just completed a garbage cleanup on Feb. 21.

“At the direction of the ministry, the local maintenance contractor removed materials from around the Highway 97/27th Street overpass,” MOTI said in an email.

The area has been home to homeless encampments in the past. It first garnered attention last spring when local wildlife expert Pete Wise raised the alarm on mounting garbage. He said the unchecked garbage posed a threat to wildlife.

MOTI acknowledged there had been campers in the area, but didn’t specify whether the clean up was needed because of the campers.

“Given the proximity to the highway and the immediate safety concerns to campers, the ministry worked with partner agencies to issue notice to campers to leave the area,” reads an email from MOTI.

Laurie Case, Turning Points executive director of communications, confirmed outreach services were provided to campers.

“We offered outreach, and we were also able to move some into our scattered sites program,” said Case.

The area has raised public complaints in the past due to garbage build up and lack of timely clean up. A number of jurisdictions intersect in the area, in the past CN rail has cleaned the area up.

Coun. Kari Gares had brought the issue up in a city council meeting last year, saying it was a “multi-jurisdictional issue.” Something CN echoed when it said multiple agencies needed to be involved in the clean up as the area was on multiple different properties.

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