Category Archives: Victoria

Tent Camping Homeless to Politicians: ‘Face Facts!’


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

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

“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,


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

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)


by janine bandcroft
published, with video, at

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


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?


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


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


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,
“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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