Category Archives: Victoria

Tent Camping Homeless to Politicians: ‘Face Facts!’

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Court allowed temporary shelters in Victoria parks, but officials still
fighting it.
By Andrew MacLeod, TheTyee.ca

That the city of Victoria and the British Columbia government are so
determined to keep fighting to prevent homeless people from sheltering
themselves speaks volumes, said Simon Ralph, who knows the pressure first
hand.

“I think the city just doesn’t want to face the facts. The city doesn’t
want to honour the law,” said Ralph, one of a dozen or so people named as
defendants in the landmark case that last year overturned Victoria’s
anti-camping bylaws.
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Fears about homeless people camping in Victoria parks are groundless,

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By Joanne Hatherly, Victoria Times Colonist

Fears that a court decision last year would turn Victoria’s parks and
streets into tent cities are groundless, the lawyer representing homeless
campers said in a B.C. Court of Appeal hearing Thursday, arguing elected
officials still have the power to decide where and when shelters are
erected.

Catherine Boies Parker defended the October 2008 B.C. Supreme Court
decision that stripped the city’s right to ban camping in parks in the
second day of the city’s appeal against that decision.
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Notes From the Courtroom (tent city)

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by janine bandcroft
published, with video, at http://janinebandcroft.blogspot.com/

i’m looking at the backs of a row of black robes. two women lawyers (broadsky & buckley) representing the poverty and human rights centre, a man and a woman lawyer (skollod and jones?) also representing the rights of the homeless (didn’t catch where they’re from), a man (something elwood) from the pivot legal society. and, of course, cathie boies parker and irene faulkner – the women who have championed this case all these years.
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City seeks halt to park camping

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Cleanup costs $1.3 million a year, lawyer tells appeal court hearing
By Joanne Hatherly, Times Colonist

Cleaning up after campers in parks is costing the City of Victoria $1.3 million a year, a lawyer for the city told a B.C. Court of Appeal hearing yesterday.

The city is asking for the overturning of an October 2008 B.C. Supreme Court decision that allows the homeless to set up temporary shelters in Victoria parks.

Apart from the cost to taxpayers, lawyer Guy McDannold said the city’s chief concern is that the decision would lead to permanent camping structures in parks.
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What is The Temporary Autonomous Shelter Collective?

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Chris Johnson, a community organizer with the Temporary Autonomous Shelter Collective, addresses an audience of local social justice activists at an Island Solidarity Centre event held at the BCGEU hall.
Chris explains the impetus for forming TASC, and the process being followed to create a sanctioned tent city.
Street Newz publisher and Winds of Change radio host Janine Bandcroft filmed the event and edited this 8 minute clip, including photos of the Cridge Park tent City in Victoria (2005) and the tent cities in Seattle, Olympia and Portland.

Warrant issued for David Arthur Johnston

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Times ColonistFebruary 14, 2009

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a homeless Victoria man convicted Thursday of breaching a City of Victoria bylaw against daytime tenting on public property.

David Johnston did not attend Victoria provincial court yesterday to set a date for his sentencing hearing. His co-accused David Shebib will be sentenced March 5.

Johnston believes the bylaw, which forbids erecting temporary shelter on public property between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., is unconstitutional.

Wake Up Call

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dscn0014David Johnston just wanted to bed down for the night. Two years later, his “Right to Sleep” campaign may change the way we deal with homelessness.
by Jodi A. Shaw, backofthebook.ca
“I think, if luck were real,” David Arthur Johnston says, “that I’m one of the luckiest people on the planet. To have a grand scope in my head, that’s weird, but makes me feel like a superhero most of the time.

“A lot of people love me, though most of them think I’m strange.”

He’s right. Johnston is nearly as well-known to the citizens of Victoria, BC as Batman is to Gothamites. If they haven’t encountered him personally, they’ve read about him in the newspaper or seen him on the news. And many do consider him decidedly strange — for his decision to leave his job as a baker and live without income, for his campaign to earn the homeless “The Right to Sleep,” adequately sheltered, on public property. He’s been described both as a man on a mission and a public nuisance.
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On The City of Victoria’s War on the Poor

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Two days ago Judge Brian McKenzie settled once and for all the constitutionality of the bylaw enforcement policy prohibiting the use of temporary emergency shelter in the City of Victoria.
He reiterated Judge Ross’s October 14 ruling that certain Park regulation bylaws were of no force and effect insofar as they prohibit homeless people from erecting temporary shelter.

Judge McKenzie went on to suggest that if the City of Victoria was interested in enforcing any kind of regulations related to tenting, such as the 7 to 7 policy, they would need to amend their parks bylaws.

Questions arose immediately as to why the City of Victoria didn’t amend their municipal code in October, when a BC Supreme Court judged suggested they do so. Read the rest of this entry

City revives bylaw aimed at campers

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Latest move follows Victoria’s court defeat over homeless tenting in parks
By Bill Cleverley and Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist
Victoria is once again on its way to having a bylaw restricting daytime camping in city parks.

Councillors unanimously voted last evening to amend the parks bylaw to forbid camping between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., replacing an enforcement policy struck down by the courts.

The interim bylaw will be in force for only five weeks or until the B.C. Court of Appeal makes a decision on the case that started it all.
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Victoria campers win again in court

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By Andrew MacLeod, Theytyee.ca

Three activists who have challenged the city of Victoria’s anti-camping bylaws won another victory this morning.

Judge Brian McKenzie found in his provincial court decision that Kristen Woodruff, Tavis Dodds and David Arthur Johnston, arrested in December for erecting tents in the square behind city hall, were not guilty of breaking the city’s bylaws.
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