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.
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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.
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.