Saanich receives injunction to vacate Regina Park
September 7, 2018
For immediate release
Saanich, BC – Today the Honourable Mr. Justice Branch of the BC Supreme Court granted the District of Saanich and the Province of BC interlocutory injunctions to require Regina Park and the adjoining Trans-Canada Highway road allowance be vacated by 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 11.
The removal of the encampment will allow Saanich and the Province to address the fire risks and other hazards and to remediate the park. Remediation activities are expected to occur over a two to three week period. Remediation activities will include clearing the site of all materials, mowing and pruning vegetation, removing all debris, conducting soil testing and laying 8 to 10 inches of fire retardant material across the site. Once remediated and reopened, the uses of Regina Park will then be limited to those uses permitted by Saanich’s bylaws.
Since the arrival of the encampment in April 2018, Saanich Parks and Fire Departments, with support from Saanich Police, have worked with the occupants to achieve voluntary compliance with respect to Saanich’s bylaws. A notice to vacate was issued to the encampment June 8, followed by a notice to cease occupation July 12. In reply to each notice, the occupants indicated they intended to maintain the encampment.
Following the encampment’s decision to remain, it became necessary for Saanich to commence legal proceedings to achieve compliance with its bylaws. An application for injunction was filed with BC Supreme Court July 23. The court hearing began August 13 with a request for an adjournment by the encampment, which was granted. The court hearing resumed for a five-day period August 27 with the Honourable Mr. Justice Branch reserving decision until September 7.
Saanich will treat the vulnerable persons vacating the park with dignity and care through the decampment process. Saanich’s Parks and Management Control Bylaw allows temporary overnight sheltering in 102 of Saanich’s 172 parks from the hours of 7 p.m. to 9 a.m., which will include Regina Park, once the remediation work has been completed and the park is safe to re-enter.
The hygiene station, including washrooms and showers, and storage facility located at Saanich Municipal Hall remain open for use from 7 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. These facilities are offered as a support service to those who may need to seek temporary overnight shelter.
Visit saanich.ca/encampment for updates and information about the Regina Park encampment.
Megan Catalano,Communications Manager
250-475-5494 ext. 3444