Victoria moved Thursday toward a possible permanent closure of Central Park to 24/7 sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria moved Thursday toward a possible permanent closure of Central Park to 24/7 sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria council moves to adjust camping in parks bylaw

Safety, comfort of those sheltering in parks considered, as well as mitigating effects of camping

Victoria council has taken a step towards permanently removing Central Park from those where 24/7 sheltering can happen.

A report at the Jan. 21 committee of the whole meeting about mitigating the impacts of sheltering, presented by parks, recreation and facilities director Thomas Souliere, made two recommendations that require bylaw amendments.

Council approved the first, related to camper safety and comfort, that would prohibit sheltering in areas of parks that have a high risk of flooding or other environmental hazards, such as falling trees or branches. A man camping in Stadacona Park early on Jan. 13 escaped serious injury when a tree fell on his yurt in high winds. Another nearby shelter was narrowly missed by the falling tree, but the occupant was not inside.

Souliere said he didn’t expect that closing certain high-risk sections of city parks for sheltering would affect many people, but agreed to provide council with a map of affected park areas to discuss at the Jan. 28 committee of the whole meeting.

RELATED STORY: Victoria closing Central Park for remediation following campers, wet weather

An amendment to the second recommendation saw councillors approve adding Central Park to the list of those where sheltering is prohibited, as long as sheltering during the pandemic provisions are in effect that allow for 24/7 camping. The pre-COVID bylaw allowed camping in specific parks from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. A greater discussion around the closure of Central Park, with more logistical details, will happen at the March 4 committee meeting.

Central Park was closed for remediation on Jan. 4, after an area of the parking lot for Royal Athletic Park on Caledonia Street was set up to accommodate campers in a drier location.

The city is still working toward its March 31 deadline for finding indoor accommodation for all people currently sheltering in parks who wish to move indoors. Mayor Lisa Helps indicated Thursday that David Eby, B.C.’s minister responsible for housing, has confirmed multiple times the province’s support of that goal.

ALSO READ: Victoria councillor notes ‘escape clause’ in bid to bring homeless indoors by spring


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of VictoriaHomelessness

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke Lake Reservoir, shown here, is the primary storage site for Greater Victoria’s drinking water supply. The Capital Regional District just purchased a property on the north edge of the water supply area to help further protect the supply. (Photo courtesy CRD)
CRD acquires 58.7-hectare watershed to further protect Greater Victoria drinking water supply

Forested area near Grant Lake is part of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

The Sooke Fine Arts Show will be online again this year, showcasing unique artworks from Vancouver Island and B.C.’s coastal island artists from July 23 to Aug. 2. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke Fine Arts Show goes virtual for second year in a row

Art exhibition and show set for July 23 to Aug. 2

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner’s report confirms cause of death of three men at Sooke River in 2020

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen drown while ‘puddle-jumping’ in pickup truck

Amy Morrison was surprised to find a note on her windshield for parking on a public street with no restrictions in south Oak Bay where she works. (Amy Morrison Photo)
Oak Bay resident uses notes to claim street parking

‘You must have noticed, we park in front of OUR HOUSE,’ note writer says

The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read