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LETTER: Camping has taken toll on beloved Victoria park

My walk through Beacon Hill Park the other day was so incredibly depressing. Before COVID, it was an oasis where I sought refuge. It was also one of my favourite go-to places for nature photography. I will never understand how or why our current city council ever thought it was the right place to accommodate the homeless 24/7.

The most disturbing aspect was how long council let people camp in the eco-sensitive areas. While it’s no longer allowed, the damage has been done. This urban oasis that once provided enjoyment for so many people, young and old, has been taken away from us.

Signs have been posted with new rules. Without looking hard, I can already see so many infractions of those rules. If they’re not going to be enforced why even waste the taxpayer’s money on the signs in the first place? Our elected officials are supposed to make decisions in the best interests of all the people they serve. They have failed miserably on this front.

Homelessness is a complex issue. I get that. I’m sympathetic to it. I try to do my part. There has to be a better solution. How much longer is this going to be allowed to continue? How much remediation will be needed once 24/7 camping is no longer allowed? I implore more people to speak out so this beautiful park can once again be enjoyed by all.

Cathy Wood

Victoria