Construction of solid structures continues amid tents at camp next to the Victoria courthouse.

B.C. could go back to court over Victoria camp

Fire hazard, safety issues will be assessed and then decision made on another injunction to clear courthouse 'tent city'

The B.C. government is assessing the safety of Victoria’s sprawling downtown tent camp, and if safety risks continue it will consider applying again for an injunction to clean it up.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman said Monday he will give staff from Vancouver’s Portland Hotel Society until the end of April to work with camp residents, and then reassess the safety. A key issue is the fire risk in an area with tarp-covered tents packed so tightly around the courthouse lawn that there is no way to escape, Coleman said.

Portland Hotel Society operates single-room occupancy hotels in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Its staff were brought to Victoria in mid-April after B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson refused to grant a temporary injunction to the province to clear the site.

By Monday morning, some tents had been rearranged to provide gaps, but the courthouse camp is as crowded as any time since it sprang up last fall. Coleman said housing has been provided for 180 people, but more continue to come in, many from out of province.

“It’s frustrating,” Coleman said. “There are people down there who are not homeless. They go down there during the day, they have places to live but they hang out. There are other people who are on the site who are not homeless.”

Coleman estimated there are currently about 30 people on the site who “may have a reason that they’re homeless,” and efforts continue to locate accommodation for them.

 

Just Posted

Oak Bay High student selected for Canada Youth Olympic Team

Barbarians rugby player Lachlan Kratz heads to Las Vegas for Qualifiers

Man charged in suspected Greater Victoria bus assault

The Victoria Police Department has arrested a man for sexual assault aboard… Continue reading

Library’s French collection gets $15,000 boost

Provincial grant adds extra French-language materials to Greater Victoria Public Library collection

Cruise Industry Job Fair on Saturday

Nearly 900 jobs created by the industry

Celebrating the heroic dogs of Saanich past

Cedar Hill exhibit features great dogs of history

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Minor injuries after car veers into Courtenay dance studio

A driver and passenger were taken to hospital after their vehicle crashed… Continue reading

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Cougars hold upper hand on Westshore in VIJHL South semifinal

Victoria leads series 2-0, games 3 and 4 go tonight and tomorrow

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

Most Read