Saanich police to surround homeless camp in Regina Park

Crews have started to put up fencing around homeless camp as deadline passed

Saanich work crews erected fencing Wednesday as local police established their presence around the homeless camp in Regina Park, one day after a court-imposed deadline came and went without any arrests.

RELATED: No arrests at Saanich’s homeless camp as Tuesday night deadline passes

Saanich’s Police and Fire Command Vehicle was seen at one of two entry points into the camp near the intersection of Harriet Road and Battleford Avenue.

As officers co-ordinated efforts on the ground, crews from the city of Saanich put up a fence part and parcel of a remediation effort.

Police were also present at the camp’s main entry point off Regina Avenue.

Under a court-issued ruling handed down last Friday, camp residents had until 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 to vacate the camp. Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell said any residents found to be defying the court order would “likely” be arrested.

However, the deadline came and went with no arrests.

RELATED: Regina Park residents ponder passive resistance against Saanich

Camp residents had earlier raised the possibility of “passive resistance.” Saanich Police said in a release Wednesday that anyone remaining in Regina Park are currently violating the order.

“As this injunction is a lawful order, the Saanich Police Department is required by law to enforce this order,” said Sgt. Jereme Leslie, adding that Saanich police will remain on site until all occupants of Regina Park have decamped.

“We will continue to treat the vulnerable persons vacating the park with dignity and care through the decampment process,” Leslie said. “It is recognized that many of the occupants will require assistance to vacate the park and we are conducting a phased approach to supporting the occupants in complying with the injunction.”

Ashley Mollison of the Alliance Against Displacement reacted to developments Wednesday saying she was concerned about storage for the possessions of camp residents.

“While I don’t think the fence and the police presence is necessary, we were aware that the fence was going up this morning and that police would be on site,” she said. “Saanich has still not come through with the storage they promised the [B.C. Supreme Court].”

Megan Catalano, a spokesperson for the District of Saanich, said the city has been working with a service provider to arrange additional storage for larger valuable items, which will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

“Providing storage was not a term of the court order, but is a service which Saanich is providing voluntarily,” Catalano said.

“Saanich’s legal counsel advised the [court] that Saanich intended to provide this service by way of pre-paid 30-day storage with a local storage company,” she explained, adding efforts to co-ordinate this have been delayed.

Catalano expects larger storage containers to arrive Thursday.

Occupants who have received approval by the city of Saanich for receiving larger storage containers, will not have to leave the park until the storage container has been provided, she said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

Oak Bay High students help to send children with cancer to Camp Good Times

Bottle drive is part of the Cops for Cancer, Tour de Rock campaign

Volunteers gather in Metchosin for B.C.’s 1st ever search and rescue joint training

Around 200 volunteers came out for the three-day training program

Victoria’s deaf community advocates for different sign languages to be recognized on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Transport Canada announces funds for pollutant clean up in Victoria Park, removal of abandoned boats

Contaminants at Laurel Point Park will be removed starting at the end of September

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

Most Read