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Back on the Coast

Back on the Coast

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Well, I'm out of the big city. Goin' to the country-side for a spell. Goin' back to live on a little island, before moving into the medium-size city, on the big island.

For the next while, three months or so, I'm going to live and work on one of the Gulf Islands. This group of islands is close to Vancouver Island, across the Strait of Georgia from the Mainland. Yup, back to being an Islander again. I have some family and work commitments, and I want to do some renovations on 'Aero', my van.

It's always an adjustment, living on a island, 20 miles long by 10 miles wide. I mean, it's really cool, a mixture of nature and people, but for me, it's small. I lived here before, and there is only so many nooks and crannies to explore. As a Nomad, I love open roads that lead away to remote wilderness, those unpopulated beaches and lakes, quiet valleys and majestic mountain ranges. When I'm here on the little island, I can't just go anytime; I have to wait and pay for the ferry to shuttle me over to the open road. I know it sounds trivial, but I feel stifled somehow, and sometimes, it really effects me.

Fortunately, I am going to be very busy. I have two houses to do renovations on, for my folks and a neighbor's home. Some painting, finish carpentry, odds and sods, whatever it takes. My folks need my help in their personal life, and I'm going to be closer for a long time. They are both elderly, and I'm making sure they are comfortable and safe, helping with their home and affairs.

'Aero' is going to get an interior makeover. Although, I've had a platform bed in the back for a long time, I think I'm going to put in a plywood floor, and put in a higher and better-built platform. I want to create better privacy panels for the windows, etc. I'll have some how-to articles, as well, some articles showing my methods for vanliving. Usually, I like to be rather bare-bones in my approach, but, lately, I've been wanting a creature feature or two.

Oh, yeah, the big law suit should be very soon. Earlier in my blog, I talked about the constitutional lawsuit against the anti-camping bylaws, which is the main reason for hiding my identity. For a few years now, the numbers of the homeless on foot, have been climbing quickly. They started camping in city parks, in the larger cities, using tents or whatever to protect themselves. Well, that didn't work for the authorities and the 'establishment', so they evoked anti-camping bylaws, and an ancient 'chatteral' bylaw. Even though these folks had nowhere to go, with the city shelter's capacity already overwhelmed by 10 to 1, the cities criminalized the homeless. To make matters worse, the 'chatteral' law, allowed the police to seize bed rolls, tents and backpacks, from the helpless 'offenders'. Nice, eh, nothin' like kicking a poor soul, when their down and out.

Well, the homeless got some pro-bono lawyers, and are taking the cities, the province and the country to Supreme Court, on a Constitutional lawsuit. The anti-camping law, is apparently in contradiction to our Charter of Rights, which is kinda like the US Constitution. If the homeless win, it will set a common law premise, which will apply in all jurisdictions, throughout our country. If you need to sleep 'outdoors' in a public park, due to financial or other hardship, the authorities will be powerless to stop you, unless they provide an alternative, like a proper tent city.

How does this affect you and me, as vandwellers? Well, if the cops roust you at night, they probably just get you to move on. But, the authorities consider us to be vehicular homeless, so in some cases, they have found vandwellers, both north and south of the border, to be breaking the anti-camping laws in those jurisdictions. In my area, if these laws are stuck down, it will lessen their authority, and increase our personal freedom. Maybe this will force the authorities to recognize that vehicular dwelling is an option, that could be supported like they do in a program in Santa Barbera, CA (see blog entry, 1/09/'08). We'll see.....

Anyways, that's all for today. I'll step off my soapbox, and get back to my tinkerin'. Bye, now.

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