Chrissy Brett and the roaming tent city have landed in Colwood, protesting for more rights and services for the region’s homeless. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff).

Roaming tent city lands in Colwood

Campers will likely head to Langford or Central Saanich next

The nomadic tent city, a peaceful protest which has been moving around the region for months, has landed in Colwood for the immediate future.

Led by Chrissy Brett, roughly 12 people have set up camp on the grass between Island Highway and the park and ride near West Shore Parks and Recreation.

“Colwood has been absolutely amazing … I think this is hopefully, maybe, Colwood setting the bar for other municipalities,” said Brett while setting up camp.

This is what she believed to be the group’s 14th week camping out in the Capital Region after spending roughly five weeks in the Cowichan Valley last spring. The majority of that time has been spent in Greater Victoria’s core.

READ MORE: Nomadic tent city moved into Caddy Bay

While Brett noted the Victoria Police Department and the City were welcoming, she did receive a ticket for every day she camped in the municipality. She added, Saanich on the other hand, opted not to fine her. But her greatest opposition has come from Oak Bay.

“We had pushed through the tweed curtain and I expected some push back,” she explained. After spending several weeks there, she added it was time to move on. “[But] some have been open to learning new ways to deal with the homeless and mental health issues.”

Before moving to Colwood, the group spent roughly two weeks in View Royal, getting off to a rocky start on the West Shore. “View Royal was a bit of a bump in the road … Things were done in a more old school policing kind of way,” she said, noting officers arrested two campers the first night in View Royal and her bus was impounded.

But after some communication with the Town of View Royal and local police, she noted there was a shift in their interaction, which changed for the better. She added the Town even thanked her for the cultural components she brought to meetings with them and helped start a conversation with the City of Colwood.

RELATED: Tent city archives

While she noted there is more local governments can be doing to support homeless in the region, she did admit homelessness is more of an issue that the provincial and federal governments need to tackle by providing all residents with access to “basic human rights.” She hopes her protest will inspire some change. “This has created an opportunity for the province to step up and be more helpful and supportive … There’s people that are dying on our streets.”

After spending roughly 10 to 14 days in Colwood, Brett said the group will move on to their next location. While that hasn’t been finalized yet, she expects it will be either Langford or Central Saanich.

RELATED: Victoria council narrowly approves transitional housing for former Tally Ho

But when all is said and done, Brett is hopeful room will be found for all of the campers in programs around the region such as the transitional housing project that was recently approved for the former Tally Ho Motel. She’s also asked the province to provide her with a piece of land in an industrial area near downtown Victoria where she could set up a pilot project that would allow for a homeless camp that could potentially feature living space in modified shipping containers.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Expect traffic delays at Burnside and Douglas this week for new bus lanes

Prep work runs Tuesday through Thursday while paving takes place Friday

Lawyer questions rejection of visitors to Goldstream homeless campers

Activist Chrissy Brett says they are still in fear of being kicked out

Small homeless camp removed at Horth Hill Regional Park in North Saanich

CRD staff say the camp is not connected to Camp Namegans in Goldstream

Victoria police searching for missing 18-year-old

Austin Bennett-Frechette is known to frequent the Greater Victoria Public Library

Municipalities can help tent cities with provincial aid, says UBCM president

Provincial housing efforts can be facilitated on local level

UrbaCity raises record-breaking $70,000 for Island Prostate Centre

240 racers, corporate sponsors fill the coffers for the cause

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

Most Read