Saanich tent city campers packing up as Tuesday injunction deadline looms

Saanich tent city campers packing up as Tuesday injunction deadline looms

WATCH: Roughly 100 campers at Saanich’s Regina Park tent city are scrambling to find other accommodations but most say they will abide by the injunction ruling. April Lawrence reports.

Megan Hatch was packing up her belongings Monday and getting ready to leave the place she’s called home for the past four months.

Hatch moved to the tent city in Regina Park after the motel she was staying at raised its rates for summer. Now she says she’ll likely move in with her mom until she finds somewhere else.

“You have to go on a waiting list for the housing, I’m on a few of them,” she said.

Three days after a B.C. Supreme Court justice issued an interim injunction, tents were starting to come down Monday at Regina Park and District of Saanich staff were hauling loads of garbage away.

The injunction deadline is 7 p.m. Tuesday but camp organizer Chrissy Brett says that might be difficult to meet considering the District of Saanich hasn’t provided storage bins or packing boxes — something she says they agreed to do.

“Even if they’re free cardboard boxes from a grocery store, something for people to actually have something real to be working towards,” said Brett.

Brett says BC Housing has only found homes for about four of the roughly 100 campers.

Terrance Nordstrom, who struggles with mental health and addictions issues, says he has nowhere to go and can’t get the help he needs.

“It’s just too much of a struggle to get out of this,” said Nordstrom who said he would like to leave Victoria but can’t because he’s on probation.

Many of the campers are vowing to stick together.

“For those that don’t have solutions there will be a group of us that continue to stay together,” said Brett.

While she said that won’t likely be at Regina Park, she wouldn’t say where they will go next.

“That’s something we will continue to discuss over the week,” she said.

Charles Walkus is part of that group and wants to remain a part of the community wherever it ends up.

“I’m still here to fight the battle we all have to whether I have a place or not,” Walkus said.

Saanich Police are continuing their regular patrols of the park and won’t comment on whether they will enforce the order right at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Once the campers have cleared out, Regina Park will be remediated and then reopened to overnight camping only.

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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