WATCH: Tensions continue to mount between campers and neighbors of the Goldstream Campground. Sunday, some residents held a town hall to voice their concerns about tent city campers. But as Luisa Alvarez tells us, some say the park’s closure to the public is only making things worse.
The gates remain closed in front of the Goldstream park campground to keep the public out. The campground was closed for public safety last week after some homeless campers who were evicted from Regina park arrived and were suspected of open drug use.
Langford residents are frustrated with the campers in the park and some say the gate being closed is only adding fuel to the fire.
“The gate is the crux of what’s going on here it’s not only making things worse its the centre focal point of everything everybody wants it gone. You got to be able to see this just to have the veil of ignorance lifted up,” said one of the campers Morgan VanHumbeck.
The gate is staffed 24 hours and park staff say nobody but the campers are allowed in.
Nearby resident Darryl Wasilenkoff says he’s infuriated after RCMP and park staff refused to let him and another resident inside even after they were invited by campers. Wasilenkoff says they wanted to go inside to start a civilized dialogue and see first hand what’s happening to help ease the fear and worry in their neighbourhood.
“I wanted to find out you know is there a safety concern here. If there is no safety concern and these guys are treating the park with respect and they’re not doing all the stuff we are seeing on Facebook then they are welcome in our neighbourhood but without seeing it first hand how are we supposed to know,” said Wasilenkoff.
Wasilenkoff says its especially important it happens soon because tensions are rising.
“We have to be allowed in so we can stop the fear mongering of the place is destroyed. You can’t say the place is destroyed until you see the place is destroyed,” said Langford resident Jamie Thomson.
A neighbourhood meeting was held at Ma Miller’s Pub in front of the campground. Dozens of residents were there voicing their fears and concerns.
Fears VanHumbeck says would be gone if only they were allowed to enter.
“All that needs to happen to diffuse some of that is open the gate and let members of the community who want to build a bridge see what’s going on, report back and let people know there aren’t needles everywhere there isn’t destruction,” said VanHumbeck.
He adds, many of the campers have contacted the province asking for the gates to be opened but nobody has been able to give them a straight answer.