A small protest camp with tents is up behind Oak Bay municipal hall.
“The issue of homelessness is complex and polarizing. Police must use a measured approach when enforcing the law, particularly at a peaceful protest where there is a set date for departure,” said Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties, Oak Bay Police Department. “Our primary objective is to ensure public safety and we are committed to doing that.”
Chrissy Brett is on week six of a cultural fast that includes a travelling tent city that set up in the park that abuts Granite Street Oct. 10.
“I’m calling to the municipalities across the province, the provincial governments and federal government in addressing the housing crisis we’re currently in, as well as addressing some of the lack of services and service delivery dollars that people end up homeless,” Brett said. “We need to look at not just at the housing crisis but the things behind the housing crisis. I’d like to see municipalities start their own poverty reduction plans.”
The camp came from Saanich, and has previously set up in Cowichan Valley sites as well as
“This camp has moved to a new location in the CRD every seven days, arriving today from Saanich. The camp organizer has personally committed that the camp will leave Oak Bay on Tuesday, Oct. 17. At this time, we have no reason to doubt her word,” said Oak Bay Police Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties. “We understand this may be uncomfortable for some residents and we’re asking for your patience and understanding. We want to assure you that we’re closely monitoring the camp and will continue to do so throughout the seven days, both day and night.”
Brett cites examples of veterans and paramedics not supported with their post traumatic stress disorder as examples discovered during the tent city outside Victoria provincial court that came down in August 2016.
While Oak Bay police do not anticipate resident impact by the temporary camp, they plan to increase foot and bike patrols in the neighbourhood.
“The organizer has committed to cleaning up upon their departure and maintaining cleanliness while here,” Bernoties said. “The Parks Department will be monitoring the camp throughout the week and will attend the site after their departure to ensure its returned to its normal state.”