Chrissy Brett was arrested July 6 for obstruction at a homeless encampment in Victoria (Neal Rockwell/Youtube)

Arrest made at Victoria’s tent city after fire officials blocked from entering

Chrissy Brett is alleged to have pointed an air-horn at the ear of a fireman and blasted a loud signal

The self-referred “encampment founder” of Greater Victoria’s newest tent city at Regina Park has been arrested for obstruction.

Saanich Police say a 43-year-old woman, who has been identified as Chrissy Brett, was taken into custody after an altercation at the park Friday morning.

It’s alleged that Brett was interfering and obstructing the Saanich Fire Department in their duties to help campers achieve “voluntary compliance” at the encampment alongside the Trans Canada Highway near Uptown Mall in Saanich.

“The woman would not allow the Saanich Fire Department onto the property and was physically blocking them from ensuring there were no life/fire safety hazards at the site,” said Sgt. Jereme Leslie in a media release.

“At one point the woman produced an air-horn, pointed it at the ear of a fireman and blasted a loud audible signal in his direction. The woman has been arrested for obstruction and will appear before the courts at a later date.”

Following the arrest, staff from the Saanich Parks and Fire Departments continued to help campers by removing fire hazard materials and moving their shelters to ensure they comply with the order, according to the release. Some of this work had already been started the previous day.

READ MORE: Homeless camp could cost Saanich $1 million

The order was put in place by the District of Saanich’s fire commissioner on June 29th to mitigate fire and life safety hazards in Regina Park by ensuring those occupying the land comply with the following items:

  • Position all personal temporary shelters and temporary structures so that they are separated by one (1) metre to prevent the rapid spread of fire.
  • Remove flammable tarpaulins over personal temporary shelters and other structures.
  • Personal temporary shelters and temporary structures must be positioned such that entrances face a path of egress and have three (3) metres of clearance away from combustible brush.
  • Remove all tents within three (3) metres of a combustible fence or structure.
  • Ensure a path of egress is maintained clear of obstructions for all personal temporary shelters and temporary structures.
  • Have all propane cylinders stored in a secured area away from egress routes.
  • Remove all open flame lighting and heating from personal temporary shelters.
  • Remove combustible household furniture from the site.
  • Remove all combustible construction materials, wood pallets, lumber flooring, carpet, underlay and excessive combustible storage from the site.
  • Separate open flame cooking equipment a minimum of three (3) metres from combustible materials and do not use under combustible overhangs.
  • Ensure no smoking within the park.

READ MORE: Homeless campers in Greater Victoria dig in for long fight

Saanich staff had attended the park multiple times between June 29-July 5 to inform campers of the safety risks and of the order, according to police, and had been asked to immediately comply in order to minimize safety risks.



ragnar.haagen@bpdigital.ca

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The District of Saanich calls the tent city at Regina Park an on-going legal matter, but refuses to say whether it will follow the City of Nanaimo in filling an injunction. Ashley Mollison, a community organizer with the Alliance against Displacement, predicts that such an injunction would fail based on current case law. Wolf Depner/News Staff The District of Saanich calls the tent city at Regina Park an on-going legal matter, but refuses to say whether it will follow the City of Nanaimo in filling an injunction. Ashley Mollison, a community organizer with the Alliance against Displacement, predicts that such an injunction would fail based on current case law. Wolf Depner/News Staff

Chrissy Brett, one of the leaders of the tent city at Regina Park, met with representatives from Saanich Police and Saanich Fire Wednesday morning to discuss safety on the site, now home for some 75 people. Wolf Depner/News Staff Chrissy Brett, one of the leaders of the tent city at Regina Park, was arrested on July 6. The site is now home to some 75 people. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

A report estimates the tent city in Regina Park near Uptown could cost Saanich up to $950,000 in additional costs. Wolf Depner/News Staff A report estimates the tent city in Regina Park near Uptown could cost Saanich up to $950,000 in additional costs. Wolf Depner/News Staff

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