Fencing, command centre set up as police monitor Saanich tent city
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, September 12, 2018 1:27PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 12, 2018 6:43PM PDT
Saanich police have set up a command centre and put up fencing around a tent city after campers defied a court-ordered deadline to leave.
People living at Regina Park were expected to move by a 7 p.m. deadline Tuesday, but dozens remained at the park Wednesday morning.
Campers say the city promised to supply them moving bins but they didn't arrive, and wouldn't arrive until Thursday.
In a news release, Saanich police say they've been communicating expectations for enforcement of the injunction to occupants of the park since the decision came down last Friday.
They reiterated that people still remaining in the park are in violation of the order and that officers are required by law to enforce it.
As a result, police have placed fencing around the site and will remain there until all occupants are gone.
"We will continue to treat the vulnerable persons vacating the park with dignity and care through the decampment process," Saanich police Sgt. Jereme Leslie said in a news release. "It is recognized that many of the occupants will require assistance to vacate the park and we are conducting a phased approach to supporting the occupants in complying with the injunction."
Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell said Tuesday that he expected arrests would be made if campers continued to defy the injunction.
"If they're not interested in leaving, and they decide they want to stay put and continue to protest, I imagine the police will use their power to arrest," he said.
Some occupants said earlier this week they were eyeing a new location to move to, but did not divulge where it was.