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

West Shore RCMP block entrance to Goldstream Park, expected to evict all campers Thursday morning

Roving tent city moved to provincial park Wednesday, advocates say homeless unfairly targeted

West Shore RCMP are on scene at Goldstream Provincial Park where supporters of homeless camp Namegans Nation say they are being turned away at the entrance and told the park will be shut down by Thursday at 11 a.m.

“For the third time in a week we’re faced with this eviction process that is enforced by police,” said Marilou Gagnon, an associate professor of nursing at UVic, and supporter of the camp since it began roughly five months ago in Regina Park in Saanich.

RELATED: Langford mayor upset with province over homeless camp

The directive to completely evict the park of all campers by 11 a.m. Thursday came down from the Ministry of Environment, according to a park ranger, Gagnon said, adding she was told it was “in the best interests of public safety.”

A sign at the entrance of the park reads “closed.”

“Our tent city has been targeted non-stop for a week now,” Gagnon said. “People have nowhere to go.”

The residents of the tent city that was evicted from the Carey Road location they moved to after being evicted from both Rudd and Regina parks as per a court order, moved to Goldstream Park late yesterday.

RELATED: Victoria’s roving tent city moves to Goldstream campground

Pacifica Housing Advisory Association paid for them to camp legally and U-Haul trucks provided by the Together Against Poverty Society, a Victoria-based legal advocacy organization, helped move their belongings after Saanich police prohibited them from bringing anything more than a backpack each, into Rudd Park.

RELATED: Woman arrested as Saanich Police tape off Hwy 17 tent city

Gagnon, who arrived just before 6 p.m. Wednesday evening said West Shore RCMP appeared to have let one person into the park, bringing food for campers. Officers were also monitoring anyone coming and going, asking for camping permits.

Having communicated with two residents of Namegans Nation as well as camp leader Chrissy Brett, Gagnon said she was not aware of any “incidents, fires or disturbances” inside the park.

She said the comments campers and supporters have seen and heard are “intensifying the hate” and are “completely contrary to progressive government.”

Earlier today a group of activists with Alliance Against Displacement, a community advocacy organization, occupied the Coquitlam office of housing minister Selina Robinson demanding a meeting with her on behalf of Namegans Nation.

“The community is really behind us,” Gagnon said. “[These actions are] also intensifying the anger people are feeling toward this provincial government who promised housing.”

Black Press Media reached out to West Shore RCMP and was told no one was available for comment.

@kristyn_anthony

kristyn.anthony@blackpress.ca


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