Ashley Mollison of Alliance Against Displacement said the process by which campers were removed was “inhumane”. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Regina Park campers move to nearby park, plan next move

Camp Namegans in Saanich dispersed, packing continues on Friday

Leaders of Camp Namegans, the homeless camp at Regina Park that housed nearly 100 people, say the camp residents have dispersed.

At a Thursday evening press conference, about 20-30 campers and supporters gathered at a playground at nearby Taylor Park to address the media. Afterwards remaining campers walked together towards Rudd Park to set up camp overnight while they plan their next move.

Camp leader Chrissy Brett said former residents will return to Regina Park tomorrow to continue packing their belongings.

RELATED: Regina Park camp advocates say police treatment is “inhumane”

Ashley Mollison of Alliance Against Displacement said she did not know where most of the campers went, as they had been isolated from each other during the move. Brett said campers likely moved to other places like Pandora Ave. if they could not find shelters.

Brett said overall, Saanich Police was less compassionate than the Victoria Police, though she praised some Saanich officers for treating campers well.

Anna Cooper, a lawyer with Pivot Legal Society who said she “watched people’s dignity being violated all day today,” referring to the actions of Saanich Police officers.

Cooper said officers had “the audacity to ask a woman who was crying what she was upset about when that police officer was there to forcibly evict her from the only home she had 15 minutes later. This is completely unworkable.”

“We’re just going to keep having a cycle of tent cities until we find a better answer than this,” said Cooper.

Lawyer Noah Ross of Huntsman Law, representing DisconTent City in Nanaimo, said it was “wrongheaded public policy” to ask campers to move, because with no room in shelters, people would just have to move to another park which served neither the interests of the homeless community or the greater community.

RELATED: Saanich will fence in and patrol Regina Park around the clock

Several campers spoke about their experience, expressing both sadness at their eviction and frustration at the lack of affordable housing in the city. Justin Funk, a camp resident, said he busked to earn money and decried businesses for asking to leave as customers were still free to enter and shop.

“I’m very tired right now,” said another camper. “We all just want a place to live.”

Neighbour Kathy Marier, leaning on her fence and watching the camp residents move their belongings, said she was relieved. She said camp residents were using her garden hose and had stolen belongings from neighbour’s yards.

“We’ve been so frustrated and now they’ve actually did what they said what they were going to do and get our community back to normal.”

The campers will rally at 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Regina Park parking lot, and “we may go for a small walk, and end with a rally, possibly at the [Saanich] Municipal Hall,” said Brett.

 

Residents of Camp Namegans said they were tired of moving and “just wanted a place to live.” (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Just Posted

Viral video shows Sooke resident calling out illegal crab fishers

The video shows a man and woman with 12 undersized crabs in Sooke

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and MP Alistair MacGregor weigh in on fishing ban

Singh and MacGregor say improving salmon abundance is important

Oak Bay artist celebrates 100 years

Centenarian matriarch credits active artistic lifestyle

Horgan and education minister to make announcement at UVic

B.C. Premier will be on campus in Victoria on Nov. 15

Feds respond to sexual assault investigation at CFB Esquimalt

Report of Oct. 5 sexual assault on Vancouver Island base taken over by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

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

EU divorce deal in peril after two UK Cabinet ministers quit

Negotiators from Britain and the European Union have struck a proposed divorce deal that will be presented to politicians on both sides for approval, officials in London and Brussels said Tuesday.

Northern California fire death toll at 56; 130 missing

Many of the missing are elderly and from Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 to the north of Paradise.

Canfor to buy 70 per cent stake in Swedish Vida Group for $580 million

The privately held company has nine sawmills in southern Sweden with an annual production capacity of 1.1 billion board feet.

Saudi prosecutor seeks death penalty in Khashoggi’s killing

Saudi Arabia’s top prosecutor is recommending the death penalty for five suspects charged with ordering and carrying out the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Mixing business and family: Trudeau turns to Singapore ancestors to widen trade

Trudeau’s ancestor, Esther Bernard, born Farquhar (1796-1838) was the daughter of Major-General William Farquhar (1774-1839), the first British Resident and Commandant of Singapore.

How a group of concerned students inspired Vancouver Island to #TrustYourself

Island Health social media initiative urging survivors of sexual assault to seek medical care

Most Read