Campers clear cenotaph, parks department starts cleanup

Tribute bench vandalized during week-long tent city

While they didn’t hit the deadline set by Oak Bay Police Department, a protest camp vacated the cenotaph area of Oak Bay by this morning (Nov. 1).

On Oct. 26, police told campers that they would have to be gone by 11 a.m. on Oct. 31 to allow the parks department to prepare the cenotaph area as they do every year at this time. This year, in addition to the parks Staff usual efforts to prepare the park, there will be the additional cleaning required to ensure the site is safe and to address the issue of a vandalized tribute bench.

“The community of Oak Bay has been very compassionate and patient, but unfortunately, the camp deteriorated and Oak Bay residents have been disrespected by having their property damaged,” said Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties. “I was incredibly disappointed to learn that they had spray painted a tribute bench.”

Police said they were increasingly concerned that conditions at the park were deteriorating. They received reports of unusual activities in the area such as people defecating and urinating in the park, a house broken into in very close proximity to the park, other break and enter attempts. A tribute bench, located at the camp, was also spray painted. Aside from being a disrespectful act, police said, it will cost about $1,500 to replace.

The pop up protest camp moved to the Uplands Park space Tuesday, Oct. 24, to spend its third week in Oak Bay public spaces. The camp started behind municipal hall and moved to Willows Beach after a week.

“I’m very pleased that Oak Bay used a Hazmat team. The fact that they found needles, potentially containing fentanyl, should serve as a warning to other municipalities,” Bernoties said.

He added that officers tolerated weeks of threats to cause a violent confrontation with police if they took action.

With the camp gone, the parks department and a contracted hazmat team started cleanup. Preparation for Remembrance Day will continue for several days.


 

@OakBayNews
cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Canadians spent more than $8 billion on pet-related items in 2017

Fifty-seven per cent of Canadian households own pets

Cheers to Beer Week back in Victoria

The nine-day festival kicks off March 1 at Victoria’s Public Market

Demand outstrips availability of French Immersion seats in Saanich School District

French Immersion opportunities in SD63 based on a lottery

Greater Victoria teachers experienced more than 30 incidents of violence from students in one month

Shuttered behavioural programs, lack of resources creates challenges for local schools

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read