A sign at the entrance of Goldstream Provincial Park reads “closed” as West Shore RCMP officers stand guard prohibiting the public from entering. (Contributed by Marilou Gagnon)

Province to help tent city and keep neighbourhood safe: Langford mayor

Province shares a plan for more modular housing for short-term stays

City of Langford held a conference call with Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions on Wednesday, to address tent city concerns in the Langford community.

Young met with nearly 200 residents across from Goldstream Park over the weekend who expressed their concerns about the increase in crime in the area within the last week, safety and cleanliness of the park.

READ MORE: West Shore residents hold forum to voice frustration with Goldstream Park homeless camp

The ministries discussed creating more affordable housing, but Mayor Stew Young said he made his point clear that the City of Langford supports affordable housing, noting it is something the city has won national awards for. Young feels the responsibility lies with the provincial government to find tent city members housing and he doesn’t want Langford taxpayers to be burdened with the problem of homelessness.

RELATED: Province gives Goldstream homeless camp Oct. 1 deadline

“The ministries are looking for partnerships with municipalities and we’ve done our part,” Young said. “We partner with M’akola Group and Pacifica Housing.”

He said the provincial government communicated their plan for more modular housing, which is intended for short-term stays, but Young said he thinks they should be thinking long-term and building long-term.

READ MORE: Victoria’s roving tent city moves to Goldstream campground

The City of Langford staff informed the ministers that the community around tent city is feeling unsafe and that there has been an increase in vandalism in the area.

The city got permission from the province to allow two neighbourhood representatives, escorted by police, to walk through campground at Goldstream Park to provide status updates to the community.

“We will do as much as we can and make sure our communities are safe,” Young said.

READ MORE: Langford mayor upset with province over homeless camp

Langford staff suggested to the province, they approach the people who live in tent city the same as people who stay in modular housing units, such as providing help if they are dealing with mental health issues. Young said providing those services is more important with tent city being so close to a neighbourhood.


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lindsey.horsting@goldstreamgazette.com

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