Province asks new B.C. homeless camp to disperse

Saanich camp received notice Sunday from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to vacate

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure delivered this notice to homeless campers near Uptown Sunday. The camp at the corner of Ravine Way and Carey Road sprung up Friday.

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure delivered this notice to homeless campers near Uptown Sunday. The camp at the corner of Ravine Way and Carey Road sprung up Friday.

The provincial government Saturday asked residents of a new homeless camp in Saanich to immediately leave a piece of land near Uptown.

An official with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure delivered a notice dated Sept. 15 as the Saanich Police Department recorded the delivery.

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“Overnight camping on highway lands pose dangers to campers and to the travelling public,” reads the notice, signed by Michael Pearson, the ministry’s district manager transporation.

“All persons occupying the Lands must immediately cease their occupation, stop any overnight camping, and must remove all personal property from the Lands.”

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The camp located at the intersection of Carey Road and Ravine Way emerged Friday when some 30 people left Rudd Park, where they had camped overnight after being forced from the former homeless camp at Regina Park, Thursday due to a court order.

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In a release Saturday, camp organizers said the new camp re-establishes Camp Namegans — the name of the camp that had existed at Regina Park for five months — in promising to continue their fight against homelessness.

Camp organizer Chrissy Brett said Sunday that she expects that the province will move quickly in trying to oust the current encampment.

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell said he was concerned about the impact of the new camp.

– With files from Travis Paterson