WATCH: The District of Saanich was in court Monday. It was the first day of a hearing to try to get the tent city in Regina Park shut down. But it looks like it will stay… for now. Luisa Alvarez has the details.
The hearing for an injunction to shut down the tent city at Regina Park has been adjourned for two weeks.
The District of Saanich along with the province is asking the B.C. Supreme Court for an injunction to shut down the tent city at Regina Park. Council for the District of Saanich cited extreme fire hazards as the main reason for the lawsuit.
The Regina Park tent city representative was in court Monday and asked for a two-week delay because the lawyer they obtained is away on vacation and not able to be at the hearing. The application for adjournment was also to give the campers more time to prepare a response to the more than 1,000 pages of the injunction with council secured.
Chrissy Brett, who helped establish the Regina Park tent city, known as Camp Nemegans, says the judge’s decision shows she was able to see both sides.
“I think it’s amazing that we were granted the adjournment,” Brett says. “The court heard we needed more time to prepare a defence with legal representation. Today is a win for our camp here.”
The district was against the adjournment, arguing the encampment is getting bigger and more fuel and combustible material continues to be brought in, increasing the fire risk.
They argued against the adjournment, saying in court that there is no time to wait because if there is a fire it could be catastrophic.
The lawyer representing the province took no position against the request to adjourn but agreed the camp’s fire hazards are extremely concerning.
Ultimately, the B.C judge adjourned the hearing until the week of Aug. 27, stating in her decision that it would be in the best interest for a more efficient hearing for the campers not to represent themselves and have their lawyer present.
To address concerns for fire safety, an interim fire safety order was put in place and campers have 72 hours to comply.