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

Northwest Wave Riders return from Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

This was the first time in 25 years that northern B.C. teams competed

Feds approve $4M for Tahltan protected and conserved areas

Well defined stewardship will help nation reduce uncertainties for resource partners

BC Parks student rangers complete several northwest B.C. conservation projects

This was the first time the summer program operated out of Terrace

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Most Read