A lone protester nested himself within the Brownsey Boulevard roundabout last week in what appeared to be a political demonstration.
The man, who refused to be interviewed by the Sooke News Mirror nor identified himself, perched himself and his dog on the eastside of the roundabout circle Oct. 13 with signs calling on people to vote and other political statements.
He was joined by others during the week, including an artist, but he did not spend the night on the roundabout, although he did pitch a tent.
RCMP talked with the man, but did not ask him to leave because they received no complaints from road crews and he wasn’t interfering with traffic, said Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur.
District of Sooke Coun. Brenda Parkinson told council municipal staff had received some complaints and was expecting police to take action.
Complainants were concerned about the man’s safety and wanted to know if a “tent city” was being erected on the site. They appeared OK with the political demonstration, said Mayor Maya Tait.
“It’s interesting right now,” she said. “People are offering him money and food. He is drawing attention to the election.”
But Tait added the roundabout is not an appropriate place for future demonstrations.
Police have the power under provincial legislation to stop any action that impedes traffic or that could endanger the public. The municipality also has bylaws it could enforce.
“I didn’t see this one coming at all,” Tait said. “It’s an interesting one just given the timing of the election.”
The protester left late Friday morning, telling municipal staff he had “made his point.”