Tent city supporters (left) get into a heated debate with Langford residents. (Lindsey Horsting/Gazette News staff)

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Greater Victoria residents in the Lakehurst Drive area started filtering to the entrance of the Goldstream Provincial Park campsite Thursday morning waiting to see Camp Namegans Nation members off and out of their neighbourhood.

But after some confusion in the morning, Camp Namegans – the group that recently moved from their residence at Regina Park near Uptown Mall – was permitted to stay at the park with no immediate deadline.

READ MORE: Province not allowing tent city campers to stay at Goldstream Park

READ MORE: Regina Park campers move to nearby park, plan next move

One of the first Langford residents that arrived was Liz Willman, a resident of the area for more than 30 years. Willman said that having a large group of nearly 30 people converge on the campsite will affect the cleanliness of the park and she’s concerned about the safety of those in the community.

“I’m not going to put up with this, there’s children in this neighbourhood,” Willman said.

Within the last 48 hours Willman encountered a supporter of Camp Namegans loitering in front of her liquor store across from the park. She said when she told him to leave he was defiant and said she couldn’t tell him what to do. She added there’s a difference between homeless people and a group that is trying to take a political stand that affects neighbouring communities.

“This is a group that they want to speak for something and stand for something. They need to be at the parliament buildings to be heard, not here,” Willman said.

At around 11:30 a.m. there were dozens of Langford resident that had gathered at the campsite entrance and heated discussions between Camp Namegans supporters and residents took place.

Langford resident Darryl Wasilenkoff doesn’t want Goldstream Park to be left with garbage like when this group left Regina Park.

“I definitely have a concern that the park is going to get treated the same way. I understand people need to bring stuff to live, but it’s not appropriate to bring it into a provincial park that has a delicate ecosystem,” Wasilenkoff said. “I don’t see any other campers coming down here and bringing garbage, I really hope they don’t [either].”

READ MORE: Langford Mayor upset with province over homeless camp

Langford Mayor Stew Young said he has received more than 100 e-mails and phone calls from concerned residents.

“In 24 hours, we’ve had more police incidents in that area than we’ve had all year,” Young said, noting “this is a problem and the public has a reason to be concerned … Drugs and open drug use is not going to be allowed, I don’t care where you are, that is the law and the RCMP will do their job. We’re not doing anything different than we normally would.”

With files from Keili Bartlett.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

lindsey.horsting@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Illegal dumping pushes BC Conservation to the tipping point

Terrace office may bring violators to court to seek higher penalties

Natural gas pipeline cost soars

Coastal GasLink to carry gas from northeastern B.C. to LNG Canada plant at Kitimat

Airport wants LNG companies to build own terminals

Best way to handle expected crush of traffic

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Man surrenders after Terrace drive-by shooting

Mayor confident with police assurance of public safety

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

Most Read