Campers living in environmentally and culturally sensitive areas of Beacon Hill Park will be forced to relocate to less vulnerable locations within the park after the City of Victoria was granted a court injunction.
The city filed the application on July 10 to the B.C. Supreme Court, asking for an order that would require people experiencing homelessness to shelter only in permitted areas of the park and prohibit anyone from sheltering in sensitive areas designated under the parks bylaw.
Currently, there are 78 structures in non-prohibited areas of the park, while another 38 structures are in prohibited areas.
|A map of the appropriate areas for people to shelter in Beacon Hill Park that will be handed out to campers, along with a court injunction requiring them to relocate within 48 hours. (City of Victoria)
According to Mayor Lisa Helps, everyone currently tenting in the park will be provided with a map of appropriate areas for sheltering, along with a copy of the injunction which gives campers 48 hours to move. She said if some chose not to move, the City will go back to court to seek an enforcement order, but that she expected everyone would move.
When asked if she thought the city was a safe place, Helps said it was a “real blend” with many businesses bouncing back from the pandemic but with a real homelessness problem that needs to be addressed.
“It’s really a tale of two cities,” she said.