More than 300 turn out to oppose Victoria homeless camp
Tempers flared at a crowded public meeting in Victoria's Topaz Park over the possibility of it being the site of a temporary homeless camp.
More than 300 concerned residents gathered Thursday night to question Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Councillor Ben Isitt about the proposal, which many argued would bring crime and drug use into the area.
City staff named the park as the top choice for a potential encampment to deal with the city’s approximately 130 people sleeping in Victoria parks every night.
The report sparked outrage from surrounding neighbours who said they weren’t properly consulted.
That prompted Helps to issue a public apology, in which she admitted the city moved too quickly and vowed to hold off any further decision-making until the community had their say.
Helps and Isitt drafted a motion to bring to council Aug. 5 directing staff to consult the public on all forms of sheltering before council considers any proposal for a tent city — in any park.
A public workshop will also take place Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. at City Hall.