Chrissy Brett leans over the stack of notices from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure that were delivered on Wednesday. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Province delivers notice of unauthorized occupation to Saanich tent city Camp Namegans

A Ministry of Transportation liaison to Camp Namegans delivered a “notice of unauthorized use and occupation” to organizer Chrissy Brett on Wednesday.

In fact, the liaison delivered a stack of the notices, with an understanding that Brett will share them with the camp residents.

On the back is a map, while on the front the notice states that much of the lands along the Highway 1 side of Regina Park are under the control of the Ministry of Transportation and does not “authorize your occupation of the lands.”

“Overnight camping on highway lands pose dangers to campers and the traveling public,” says the notice.

In this case, this is likely a step in the process towards Saanich or the province seeking an injunction, said Brett.

“It’s not a real front-line argument for them,” Brett said. “Even though I don’t acknowledge [the province’s] jurisdiction I’ll allow them to make their own arguments in their own courts and we’ll see how that plays out. We [defeated] the first court injunction application that the province made at the original [Victoria tent city] and I think the municipal bylaws that allow people to exist for only 14 hours a day need to be struck down.”

The notice ultimately says failure to comply “may result in the Minister taking steps to have the occupants and their property removed from the lands.”

Brett will inform the residents, she said.

“It’s thoughtful [of the province] that I was asked to share this with the residents and I’ll make sure they’re informed so they can make their own choices,” Brett said.

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