WATCH: Homeless demonstrators have moved to Cadboro-Gyro Park in Saanich after spending three weeks in Oak Bay. Calvin To reports.
Demonstrators set up camp in Cadboro-Gyro Park in Saanich Wednesday morning after leaving Uplands Park Tuesday night.
The protest is now in its ninth week.
Oak Bay police say there were no arrests made specific to activities at the camp when it was in the area, but a tribute bench was vandalized by a camper.
“Obviously, that kind of thing can take an emotional toll on the people who consider that bench to be a special place for them,” said Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties.
Camp organizer Chrissy Brett says one of the campers did paint the bench, but that vandalism was not the intended purpose.
“One of the residents had found some old, I would assume, permanent marker graffiti. Had tried to sort of sand it off and it was a pretty worn and weathered bench already. And I think that he thought he was trying to beautify it. And he painted it gold,” Brett said. “He shined the nameplate up and made sure the nameplate was covered. He sanded the rusting old bench legs up and painted them green.”
Bernoties says the bench will have to be replaced at a cost of $1,500, and that the presence of the campers has delayed Remembrance Day preparations, which would normally have been well underway by now.
According to Bernoties, there were a couple emergency calls for overdoses at the camp, where naloxone had to be given.
A hazmat team followed the campers with every move while in Oak Bay.
Oak Bay’s mayor said cleanup costs were minimal and Bernoties says policing costs were kept to zero by reallocating resources. No arrests were made specific to activities at the camp.