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.”
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.