Ashley Mollison of Alliance Against Displacement said the process by which campers were removed was “inhumane”. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Regina Park campers move to nearby park, plan next move

Camp Namegans in Saanich dispersed, packing continues on Friday

Leaders of Camp Namegans, the homeless camp at Regina Park that housed nearly 100 people, say the camp residents have dispersed.

At a Thursday evening press conference, about 20-30 campers and supporters gathered at a playground at nearby Taylor Park to address the media. Afterwards remaining campers walked together towards Rudd Park to set up camp overnight while they plan their next move.

Camp leader Chrissy Brett said former residents will return to Regina Park tomorrow to continue packing their belongings.

RELATED: Regina Park camp advocates say police treatment is “inhumane”

Ashley Mollison of Alliance Against Displacement said she did not know where most of the campers went, as they had been isolated from each other during the move. Brett said campers likely moved to other places like Pandora Ave. if they could not find shelters.

Brett said overall, Saanich Police was less compassionate than the Victoria Police, though she praised some Saanich officers for treating campers well.

Anna Cooper, a lawyer with Pivot Legal Society who said she “watched people’s dignity being violated all day today,” referring to the actions of Saanich Police officers.

Cooper said officers had “the audacity to ask a woman who was crying what she was upset about when that police officer was there to forcibly evict her from the only home she had 15 minutes later. This is completely unworkable.”

“We’re just going to keep having a cycle of tent cities until we find a better answer than this,” said Cooper.

Lawyer Noah Ross of Huntsman Law, representing DisconTent City in Nanaimo, said it was “wrongheaded public policy” to ask campers to move, because with no room in shelters, people would just have to move to another park which served neither the interests of the homeless community or the greater community.

RELATED: Saanich will fence in and patrol Regina Park around the clock

Several campers spoke about their experience, expressing both sadness at their eviction and frustration at the lack of affordable housing in the city. Justin Funk, a camp resident, said he busked to earn money and decried businesses for asking to leave as customers were still free to enter and shop.

“I’m very tired right now,” said another camper. “We all just want a place to live.”

Neighbour Kathy Marier, leaning on her fence and watching the camp residents move their belongings, said she was relieved. She said camp residents were using her garden hose and had stolen belongings from neighbour’s yards.

“We’ve been so frustrated and now they’ve actually did what they said what they were going to do and get our community back to normal.”

The campers will rally at 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Regina Park parking lot, and “we may go for a small walk, and end with a rally, possibly at the [Saanich] Municipal Hall,” said Brett.

 

Residents of Camp Namegans said they were tired of moving and “just wanted a place to live.” (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Just Posted

Three Greater Victoria schools claim climate awards

Awards handed out by British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Field named for longtime Hampton Little League volunteer

‘Curt Waldner Field’ recognizes years of dedication put in by former little league dad

Saanich honours lifetime of conservation efforts

Mary Haig-Brown wins environmental award for 40 years of extensive volunteer work

Sidney lowers flag to half mast in honour of former fire chief

Mel Baldwin died June 21 at the age of 83; served Sidney Fire for 46 years

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read