Skip to content

Metrotown rally against demovictions set for Saturday

Organizers say all evictions in Burnaby should stop, including for cause and failure to pay rent
Members of the Stop Demovictions Burnaby protest effects of development in the Metrotown area in 2016.

Housing activists and tenants will march through Metrotown this weekend to protest demovictions in Burnaby.

Some 100 people are expected at Saturday’s rally organized by Stop Demovictions Burnaby. Organizers are calling for a stop to all evictions in Burnaby, including due to renovations or demolitions, and evictions for cause and failure to pay rent.

Housing activists and experts have been calling for reforms to the Metrotown downtown plan, which includes a mass rezoning of the area, resulting in many purpose-built apartments from the ’60s and ’70s being torn down and replaced with highrise luxury condominiums.

Zoe Luba of Stop Demovictions Burnaby estimates 700 units have been demolished in Metrotown since 2011 and says another 500 have been slated for demolition since the plan was adopted in July 2017. 

“All evictions – no matter if it’s a renoviction or a demoviction or an eviction for failure to pay rent – they’re all a product of profit-driven capitalism, which we are opposing and fighting,” she told the NOW. “Metrotown can be seen as the frontlines of an eviction crisis. The rate of demovictions, renovictions in Metrotown is unprecedented.”

Luba said the group wants to see Burnaby council decline rezoning applications that are coming forward and adopt the group’s own plan for Metrotown.

But what the group is hoping for goes beyond city limits.

“We’re opposing capitalism and colonialism by opposing evictions and private property,” she said. “People are being evicted because of profit-driven development across the country and the province as well, so we’re just pushing the narrative a bit wider.”

Members of Vancouver Ecosocialists, Burnaby Residents Opposed to Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE), and members of Maple Ridge’s Anita Place tent city are expected to join Saturday’s protest.

The march will start at 2 p.m. at the corner of Beresford Street at Sussex Avenue.