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

Harrison to replace final incandescent street lights with LEDs

The $186,000 project is the second-phase of a replacement plan for the village

Harrison Hot Springs to consider single-use plastics ban

Village staff will come back to council with a report on what a possible ban could look like

Wonder Pup book series by Chilliwack author teaches kids self-regulation skills

Author Angela Murphy and illustrator Davis Graham release first book Speak Up, Wonder Pup

Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge construction could start in 2021, MLA says

The project is expected to cost substantially more than budgeted in 2017

Fraser Valley developer offering to build barn owl nesting boxes for free

Gore Brothers says anyone with a suitable building can help the threatened raptor

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Most Read