Police break up tent city in park; five arrested
Homeless activist David Johnston waits to be arrested after refusing to take down his tent as police break up a tent city in Beacon Hill Park.
Photograph by the Times Colonist
In the wake of a court ruling that says homeless people have the right to set up shelters in public parks, police moved in and cleared out a fledgling tent city that had sprung up in Victoria.
Five people were arrested and two more were issued $100 tickets.
Campers had arrived to erect tents and string tarps from trees in the park shortly after the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that, in the absence of adequate shelter beds, it's unconstitutional to deny the homeless the right to erect shelter in public parks.
After huddling behind closed doors Thursday, city councillors responded by announcing they would appeal the court decision and in the meantime adopted a policy that prohibits permanent camping in city parks. Tents can be erected only between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. and cooking and campfires are prohibited.
Read the Times-Colonist report here.