Yes, Saanich residents, including myself, are “riled by Cuthbert Holmes campsites,” as Travis Paterson notes in his excellent article (March 7). And I doubt whether many of my fellow residents are any more excited than I am to know that sometime there is going to be “a report from Saanich Parks and Saanich Police that could lead to an action plan.”
Just like the derelict boat that sank in the Gorge before Saanich council could find the proper procedure for dealing with it, Cuthbert Holmes Park could well sink under the weight of years of illegal camping by the time council gets round to considering an action plan they have not yet received.
So I have a suggestion for speeding this glacial process up. The City of Victoria has a series of bylaws which permit overnight camping in non-sensitive environmental areas, but ensure that it is overnight camping and that camps are cleared up each day.
Are Saanich parks less deserving of such bylaws than Victoria parks? Such bylaws have been judged to be enforceable in the courts. So I request that Saanich council simply adopt a set of bylaws like Victoria’s, thus finding a solution that’s sensitive to genuine emergency needs, to all other park users, and to the environment and wildlife which parks are intended to allow us to enjoy.