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

Man dies after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Man climbed railing of the Johnson Street Bridge, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Suprise coming to elderly Esquimalt woman who had $1,100 stolen from purse

Man had bumped into her while she was shopping, next thing she knew, the money was gone

Mommy’s Inside Voice: Santa is real

The holidays are a truly magical time of year

Musicians, community programmers wanted for summer concerts and events

City of Victoria adding to roster of pre-qualified, local musicians to perform June to September

Remember Spunky? Santa came out to Sidney to check on him

Red-tailed Hawk made headlines last year after being stolen, raised by eagles

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

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

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘Ghost bikes’ installed to remember teen cyclists who died in Port Alberni

Cycle Alberni installs memorials to remember teens, remind all about road safety

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Most Read