UPDATE: Police from across the region descend on tent city campers

Saanich tent city police enforcement

Saanich Police moved to clear a tent city encampment Tuesday morning, near where the Pat Bay Highway merges into Blanshard.

The grassy area across the street from Whole Foods is where several of the Regina Park tent city residents moved after that camp was cleared by police last week.

Police stated over Twitter "On Sept 15 a group (self referred to as Namegans Nation) claimed MOTI land as theirs in #saanich. MOTI has requested our assistance to ensure the property is vacated today. As this land boarders Hwy 17 there may be delays in the southbound lanes."

Ahead of Tuesday's enforcement action, the province posted a "Notice of Unauthorized use and Occupation" telling campers to leave immediately. Camp organizers responded by posting their own notice in the style of the official letter, declaring the camp a sovereign nation.

As the morning progressed, dozens of officers could be seen and police tape surrounded the collection of tents. Officers from Saanich were joined by officers from Victoria, Oak Bay and Central Saanich.

Some campers could be seen complying with police and taking down their tents. A police spokesperson says officers are advising campers of municipal parks where a bylaw allows temporary camping overnight. One person was arrested for crossing police tape but police say that individual was not a camp occupant.

By late morning, a rented moving van arrived and campers could seen loading their belongings. That moving van in Rudd Park during the noon hour where police were waiting. Officers could be heard telling the evicted campers they will not be allowed to bring in anything they can't carry on their backs.

The U-Haul sat at Rudd park this afternoon, as campers waited for 7 o'clock  to come, which is when people would be allowed to set up their tents in the park.  But shortly before 6 pm, the moving van and campers left Rudd park.  They reportedly left for Goldstream Park, where they plan on staying for the next two weeks.

 

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