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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bish Creek fire removed from Province’s Wildfire Dashboard

Unclear when investigation into fire’s cause will be completed

District looking for public input on cycling plan

Survey is open to the public until May 25

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Flooding unlikely this year throughout Skeena watershed

Region’s snowpack among lowest in the province

Cameras and convoys: Graduation in the age of COVID-19

Schools in Terrace and Kitimat are thinking outside the box to give students a graduation ceremony

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read