Campers in city parks no longer have to pack up in the morning: Victoria council

WatchA motion by the City of Victoria has extended allowing homeless campers to keep their tents set up for 24 hours as the pandemic continues. Homeless advocates say it's the right call. Others say it's dangerous. Julian Kolsut reports.

People camping in Victoria’s city parks will no longer have to pack up their belongings in the mornings, as council votes to allow a sheltering-in-place policy, to help limit the possible spread of COVID-19.

The motion was nearly unanimously passed during Thursday’s council meeting, with only Coun. Geoff Young opposing.

Council voted to stop the bylaw enforcement of the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. restrictions for the camper’s property where sheltering is allowed outside, including Beacon Hill Park, allowing those in the park to leave their items during the day.

Council will now direct staff not to remove shelters and belongings that are abandoned or unoccupied until 72 hours after they have been tagged by a Bylaw Officer, and ensure that any notices are consistent with this policy.

The motion also instructs staff to store impounded items in a secure facility for retrieval by the owner for up to 30 days.

RELATED: Petition demands Victoria to stop allowing the city’s homeless to camp in Beacon Hill Park

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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