Premier acknowledges homeless issue ‘a serious challenge’

“There are camps and communities like Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, Vancouver, are more recently Langford”

  • Oct. 5, 2018 8:30 a.m.

Paul Bucci/Black Press

Premier John Horgan acknowledged on Thursday that some members of a roving group of homeless campers in Greater Victoria may be activists, but said that he would respect their right to free speech.

“I won’t deny that there are those that may well be more interested in exercising their constitutional rights to speak freely about issues that they care about,” Horgan said at a media availability, “then I’ll respect that as well.”

RELATED: Saanich municipality and police investigate options to disband homeless camp

RELATED: Mayor says Nanaimo has land suitable for ‘rapid response’ to homelessness

RELATED: ‘They had nowhere else to go,’ mayoral candidate hosting tent city campers

Horgan said British Columbia’s homeless issue is a serious challenge.

“Certainly we’re doing our level best to make sure that our housing plan is there for the hard to house and there are many, many in British Columbia,” Horgan said.

“There are camps and communities like Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, Vancouver, are more recently Langford.

“So this is a challenge and a serious one.”

After a two-week stay at the campground of Goldstream Provincial Park, the tent city campers moved into the backyard of a Saanich mayoral candidate.

“This is the last resort, they had nowhere to go so I decided that this was it,” David Shebib said recently, who is once again running for Saanich mayor. “I don’t see politicians coming up with any answers.”

Chrissy Brett, the leader of the homeless camp known as Camp Namegans, said there are about 20 to 25 campers in the space where Shebib resides in Saanich.



c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

Mining company prospecting for gold near Bella Coola

Gold discovered in alpine areas where glaciers are receding

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Most Read