Saanich, BC – In April 2018 an encampment formed in Regina Park in Saanich. A notice to vacate was issue in June 2018 and in July a notice to cease occupation was posted. An application to seek an injunction was sought and a hearing occurred.
Friday September 7, 2018 the Honourable Mr. Justice Branch of the BC Supreme Court granted the District of Saanich and the Province of BC interlocutory injunctions to require Regina Park and the adjoining Trans-Canada Highway road allowance be vacated by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11, 2018. On September 12, 2018 a decampment process began and on September 14, 2018 the last occupant of the Regina Park Encampment retrieved their remaining property and peacefully departed.
On September 14, 2018 a group of approximately 75 people, including some who had been occupying Regina Park, marched from Rudd Park to Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure property. This property is located in lands bordered by Blanshard Street / Hwy 17, Ravine Way, and Carey Road and is only around 500 meters away from Regina Park. When the organizers arrived at the property a rally was held and people erected several tents. The occupants then declared themselves “Namegans Nation” and claimed the land as theirs.
By midafternoon on September 17, 2018 Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure requested Saanich Police enforce the provisions of the Trespass Act and ensure the property was vacated. On the morning of September 18, 2018 the Saanich Police, and officers from the integrated crowd management unit, attended the encampment to assist Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure ensure their land was vacated.
One person, who was not an occupant of the encampment, was arrested without incident after going through the police tape line. All occupants removed their belongings and the land has been turned back over to Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. As property has been removed from the land, MOTI has erected fencing and they will assess the need for remediation work. Questions regarding the land use should be referred to Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
The Saanich Police Department will continue to monitor District of Saanich parks, and other lands, to ensure their intended uses are being observed.
The District of Saanich Parks and Management Control Bylaw allows temporary overnight sheltering in 102 of Saanich’s parks from the hours of 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. In addition, a hygiene station, including washrooms and showers, and storage facility located at Saanich Municipal Hall remain open for use from 7 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. These facilities are offered as a support service to those who may need to seek temporary overnight shelter. For a copy of the entire bylaw please visit the District of Saanich website https://tinyurl.com/ydfaerq2.
If you see something suspicious, or to report a crime that has occurred, no matter how minor you think it may be, we strongly encourage you to call our non‐emergency line at 250‐475‐4321. To report an emergency, or to report a crime in progress, please call 9‐1‐1.
SPD File 18-23293 refers
Sgt. Jereme Leslie #228