Saanich, BC – In April 2018 an encampment formed in Regina Park in Saanich. On September 7, 2018 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.
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 to Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure property. This property was located in a green space bordered by Blanshard Street / Hwy 17, Ravine Way, and Carey Road. The occupants then declared themselves “Namegans Nation” and claimed the land as theirs. On September 18, 2018 the Saanich Police were requested by the property owners, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, to attend the encampment and ensure their land was vacated, by enforcing the Trespass Act.
The encampment later moved to Goldstream Provincial Park and then, on October 2, 2018, the encampment moved to a private property in the 5000 block of West Saanich Rd.
On October 13, 2018 the encampment moved again. This time the encampment has moved to Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure property located adjacent to Highway 17 and directly behind the Saanich Fire Department. The Saanich Police immediately contacted the property owners, The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The Saanich Police will continue dialogue with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and provide them with support if/when requested.
As the encampment is currently on land owned by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure the District of Saanich Parks and Management Control Bylaw does not apply. 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.
Evidence has shown that over the course of the encampment, at various locations, the rate of criminal activity in the areas increased. The Saanich Police are committed to ensuring the safety of all those impacted by this camp and ask that any criminal or suspicious activity be reported to us by either calling our non-emergency line at 250-475-4321 or for an emergency, 9-1-1.
SPD File 18-25949 refers
Sgt. Jereme Leslie #228