Chrissy Brett, leader of Camp Namegans, has questioned Saanich’s commitment to live up to the terms of a court ruling as crews started remove the homeless camp in Regina Park. Saanich said it will enforce a Tuesday night deadline ordering more than 100 people to leave Regina Park by Tuesday at 7 p.m. Wolf Depner/News Staff

Saanich will fence in and patrol Regina Park around the clock

A court-imposed deadline forcing more than 100 homeless people is set to expire Tuesday

A physical border and round-the-clock police presence will be the new reality of Regina Park. This comes following a court ruling against the homeless camp that had first popped up in the spring as clean-up of the site is underway.

Megan Catalano, spokesperson for the District of Saanich, said Monday that Saanich Police will patrol Regina Park round-the-clock starting Wednesday morning. Staff will also erect construction fencing, she said.

“I’m not able to disclose any operational plans,” she said. “[However], police and Saanich Parks staff will work with the occupants to attempt to achieve compliance with the court order.”

It is not clear at this stage how long the 24-7 police supervision would last or exactly how long ‘park remediation’ will last.

Saanich is taking these steps after Justice Ward Branch issued an injunction against the camp in a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that gives camp residents until 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 to leave the park, where homeless individuals have camped since May, if not earlier, citing fire regulations.

Saanich staff would then start remediation of the site, a process said to last a few weeks. They would remove hazardous materials, mow the lawn, and put down eight to 12 inches of wood chips. Once deemed fire safe, Saanich would allow residents to seek overnight shelter, while prohibiting camping during the day.

Notably, efforts to re-mediate the site appeared to have started already, as Saanich crews spent their Monday afternoon picking up garbage and landscaping the site. Camp residents, for their part, appeared unfazed, perhaps even resigned, in the face of the activity, with many watching from their tents or preparing meals. This said, it appears that few residents, if any, are preparing to resist the court order.

Camp leader Chrissy Brett had said Sunday that some residents are leaving open the possibility of staying beyond Tuesday’s deadline.

Monday, though, she appeared to have backed up from this position. Efforts are currently underway to find alternative arrangements for Camp Namegans residents, she said.

“My hope is that we figure out solutions for everyone by the end of the week, but for those who don’t have solutions, there will probably be a group of us that stays together.” When asked whether this group would stay in Regina Park, Brett replied “probably not.”

They will discuss their options during the course of the week, she said.

Brett expressed frustration that stoarge units promised by Saanich had not yet arrived as of Monday afternoon.

Overall, comments from the District signal resoluteness with a dose of accommodation as the deadline approaches.

“After 7 p.m. Tuesday anyone who remains in the camp is in violation of the court order, and [police] will have the authority to arrest them,” said Catalona. Furthermore, there is no “grace period” as such, but [police] will use all reasonable means to achieve voluntary decampment before relying upon the power to arrest.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Mackenzie Interchange pump failure sends contaminated water into Colquitz River

Sediment release in salmon-bearing river a serious threat to aquatic life, says local activist

WATCH: Booze, weed both have fatal consequences

Video shows how easily impairment affects driving

Catch last call and a cheap ride home: Late night buses coming to Victoria in 2019

New plan will extend service on weekends with last trip leaving downtown at 3 a.m.

1,000 free Christmas meals served at Our Place

Community donations fuel support for those in need

Uvic to launch app to link drug users with Naloxone kits

Researchers have spent the last year developing the Nal-Pal app

Santa visits some of Victoria General Hospital’s littlest patients

Santa flew in to the hospital via air ambulance helicopter

READER POLL: Do you have turkey or ham for Christmas dinner?

What are you having for Christmas dinner? Canadians gobbled up 3.3 million… Continue reading

Bear cubs try to take Vancouver Island woman’s Christmas cookies

Incident happened in the early-morning hours today, Dec. 18, in Nanaimo

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 18, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Most Read