Regina Park encampment updates

Overview

The District of Saanich and Saanich Police are working toward resolving the Regina Park encampment as soon as possible. Our first priority is to ensure the safety of residents, people attending local businesses in the area, and the people at the camp. 

If you see something suspicious, or to report a crime that has occurred, no matter how minor you think it may be, we strongly encourage you to call the Saanich Police non-emergency line at 250-475-4321. To report an emergency, or to report a crime in progress, please call 9-1-1. 

While we would all like to have this matter resolved immediately, we have to work within the framework of the law, which takes time and is beyond our control. The Regina Park encampment is an evolving legal matter, and as such there are limits on the information that we can share publicly. Within those limits, Saanich will work to keep the public, including area residents and businesses, informed of developments. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding while we work to find a long-term solution. 

June 19, 2018 update

We have issued an information bulletin to the public and media that outlines details of the recent Fire Inspection Order.

June 18, 2018 update

On Friday, June 15, the Saanich Fire Department issued a second Fire Inspection Order pursuant to the Fire Services Act. 

June 14, 2018 update 
Saanich Council is holding a special council meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21 in Council Chambers to hear public input about the Regina Park encampment. Speakers will be given the opportunity to speak once for three minutes.
June 8, 2018 update 
Today, the Saanich Police Department issued a Notice to Vacate to the occupiers of Regina Park, and the Saanich Fire Department issued an Order pursuant to the Fire Services Act. 
We cannot comment at this time on what further and additional steps may be taken in relation to the encampment at Regina Park, as it remains an evolving legal matter. We continue to encourage residents to report suspicious activity to the Saanich Police non-emergency line at 250-475-4321.
June 6, 2018 update 

As of June 1, 2018, Saanich Police have increased patrols in the area and have assigned officers to specifically focus on Regina Park and the surrounding neighbourhoods. We're hopeful this enhanced focus, and with help from residents by calling in suspicious activities, we'll be able to reduce the amount criminal activity that's occurring in the neighbourhood.

May 29, 2018 update

This camp is part of the roaming protest camp that has been moving throughout municipalities in the Capital Regional District (CRD) since last fall. Saanich Police have had an open dialogue with the organizer since the beginning of her campaign. The camp has been in several parks in Saanich in the past several months. At this time, it is unknown when the campers at Regina Park may leave; the organizer has not given any indication. 

Saanich Parks Department visits Regina Park daily and has installed a portable toilet and two garbage containers. Saanich Parks and Fire Departments, with support from Saanich Police, conduct weekly site visits at Regina Park. Saanich Fire Department met with camp representatives to discuss a variety of fire safety issues and mitigation and to provide fire life safety education. 

Saanich is aware of the challenges and impacts of homelessness and is taking steps to address this within the District. Saanich has been involved in a number of housing initiatives and projects through partnerships with the Capital Regional District as well as the provincial and federal governments. Saanich is also the largest financial contributor to the Regional Housing Trust Fund. The Fund was established by the CRD in 2005, in recognition that housing affordability is a regional priority. The Fund generates approximately $1 million for affordable housing initiatives annually. There are low barrier transitional housing and social housing options in Saanich. 

Saanich Police attempt to connect people living in the camp with outreach services and are working with a number of partner agencies, such as the Housing Action Response Team (HART). HART is an outreach team focusing on encampments. The team offers support, information and advocacy to people experiencing homelessness within our community. HART is able to do “on the spot” housing assessments, social assistance applications and make referrals to other community resources.