The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association want Occupy Vancouver’s tent city shut down due to sanitary conditions that could affect local businesses surrounding the Vancouver Art Gallery.
There have been reports of rats scurrying across the lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery, causing the DVBIA to question the sanitation of the encampment.
“We’re concerned for the health of people at the camp,” said executive director of the DVBIA Charles Gauthier. “If there was a rodent problem at a restaurant, it would be shut down. It’s the same protocol.”
Anna Marie D’Angelo, a spokesperson for Vancouver Coastal Health, asserted there are no public health concerns regarding the encampment and has no intention of shutting it down.
Rather than comparing the protest to a restaurant, D’Angelo said it should be viewed as a campsite. “You expect critters to be (at campsites),” she said.
Despite reports of rat infestations, Andrew Anges, a member of the first aid committee at Occupy Vancouver, insists there are not any more rats on site then there were previously.