There are more details now about a small homeless camp that had recently been removed from Horth Hill Regional Park in North Saanich.
In an email response, Andy Orr, the CRD’s senior manager of corporate communications, said the camp was located in the northern part of Horth Hill Regional Park along the Sunset Bridle Trail in the woods.
Orr said the clean up took place last week, and there were bags of garbage, some signs from parking lots, and camping equipment — including tarps, ropes, a damaged tent and camping chairs. No items of extreme value were found and no drug paraphernalia was found on site.
The tenants had made a latrine on site which has since been cleaned up.
An eviction notice was issued two weeks ago when CRD staff found the camp, and the camp was removed last week. It appeared to be abandoned at the time of its removal, according to the CRD.
“It was likely a small group taking temporary shelter in the park, unconnected with Camp Namegans.”
As of Monday afternoon, there was no trace of any camp, and three passersby said they saw nothing out of the ordinary in the last few weeks.
The CRD believe that, based on the site, there were at least two people living there and they were taking short-term shelter, not camping recreationally, and they believe it is unrelated to Camp Namegans. CRD staff said they clean up dozens of camps each year and have been doing so for years. They are typically associated with one or two people in transition or setting up for longer stays, and sometimes belong to people working in the community but don’t have accommodation.
Orr said unlike Victoria or Saanich, there is no bylaw which allows overnight camping in CRD parks.
“Camping is restricted to designated campsites or for cultural purposes with a park use permit.”
They also have had no conversations with Chrissy Brett about whether a CRD park could be a destination for Camp Namegans after they depart Goldstream Provincial Park.