A motion to ban camping on Beacon Hill Park passed a committee-of-the-whole vote Thursday. The final decision will be made at the June 17 council meeting. (Black Press Media file photo)

A motion to ban camping on Beacon Hill Park passed a committee-of-the-whole vote Thursday. The final decision will be made at the June 17 council meeting. (Black Press Media file photo)

Motion to ban camping in Beacon Hill Park for 2 years passes committee vote

Decision to be ratified at June 17 council meeting

Camping in Beacon Hill Park will likely be banned for two years, following a vote at council’s committee-of-the-whole meeting Thursday.

The motion, presented by Mayor Lisa Helps and Couns. Marianne Alto and Charlayne Thornton-Joe, states that two years is the amount of time needed for the park to recover from over a year of intensive camping during the pandemic. The motion passed, with Couns. Sarah Potts and Sharmarke Dubow against and Couns. Ben Isitt and Jeremy Loveday recused.

It now heads to a full council decision on June 17 where it is expected to be approved.

Beacon Hill Park was one of many parks opened to around the clock camping when the pandemic hit to give people experiencing heightened homelessness a place to stay. Since then it has become a point of community controversy, with critics arguing camping has rendered the parks unusable for others and unhoused people and advocates saying they have a right to be there. As of May 1, Victoria reinstated its bylaw limiting camping in city parks from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

READ ALSO: Community groups oppose camping ban at Beacon Hill Park

Helps, Alto and Thornton-Joe argue in their motion that Beacon Hill Park was never designed for camping and its lawns, vegetation and biodiversity have sustained some damage. They estimate two years completely shelter-free is needed to restore it, but have asked city staff to advise them if longer is required at the end of that period.

Community organizations The Existence Project and Rethink Urban oppose the motion, saying that criminalizing and enforcing homelessness won’t make it go away. They say, for many, Beacon Hill Park is a safe haven and place of community.

If the motion is ratified on June 17, Beacon Hill Park will join 23 other parks where sheltering is currently banned.

READ ALSO: Black woman worries racial bias affected her care at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Housing and HomelessnessVictoria

Just Posted

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Treated sewage bound for dump until CRD upgrades processing to required standard

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

Threads N Tails owner Lee-Ann Burke’s pet clothing has been featured on the cover of the June/July issue of Pet Connection Magazine. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan business featured on magazine cover

Lee-Ann Burke hopes the extra publicity will increase sales

Improving safety at Keating Cross Road and the Pat Bay Highway is the goal of the flyover project currently in the works. The province aims to reveal the final cost and design this fall. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Final budget, design of Keating flyover in Central Saanich still in the works

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says information coming by this fall

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Most Read