Ape Goes to the Camp Namegans II Eviction at Regina Park in Saanich

For the second time in less than a week, the residents of ‘Camp Namegans’ have been uprooted and moved along from their latest “home” in Regina Park.  Pro bono lawyer for the residents, John Heaney said the BC provincial government ordered Saanich Police clear ‘Namegans Nation’ from the B.C.’s transportation ministry land.

The ministry insists the eviction is a safety issue, and argued that before a judge when seeking a ruling for an interim injunction to be put in place while the status of the encampment was argued in a separate case. The judge allowed a ten month injunction, making a provision that the point of Charter rights in the case could be argued further at that time.

Heaney says,

“An injunction of this type…is essentially a final order, because once you’ve dispersed people, you don’t anticipate that they’re gonna wait for the time it takes to have a court case, and if they’re victorious, come back to the same place; they need somewhere to live now.”

Heaney called the decision an “unfortunate contrast” to how the courts had handled similar requests for injunctions against the so-called, ‘Super Intent City’ behind the Provincial Court a few years ago. In that instance, Heaney says,

“The court initially denied the injunction, and said, ‘We’re gonna go to trial on these issues.’ Including: Is your constitutional right a defense to being trespassers?, or said, ‘We’re gonna have a trial of whether there’s a Section 7 right to be encamped in the daytime.’

It’s not clear just where the 40+ campers at Namegans Nation, many who consider themselves a community, are to go to next. Victoria CBC radio quotes camp resident and homelessness activist, Chrissy Brett saying,

“At the end of the day, there weren’t housing options that were made available to people who were at [the previous site].”

The original Namegans provided a sheltering place for more than 100 people.

The housing situation in Greater Victoria mirrors that of other cities, where booming real estate and building markets by turns raise rents, while renovating and demolishing affordable housing spaces across the region.

Brett says,

“This is a provincial problem, this is a national problem and people really need to start changing the way that they look at one-size-fits all model of housing.”

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Author: Chris Cook

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing Thursdays/Saturdays, 11am/8am Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, on the internet at: cfuv.ca, and archived at: www.gorilla-radio.com. He is too the past contributing editor to the web news site, www.pacificfreepress.com, (now defunct). Tweets @paciffreepress and the GR blog is at: gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com. G-Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in the corporate media. Some past guests include: M. Shahid Alam, Joel Bakan, Maude Barlow, Ramzy Baroud, David Barsamian, William Blum, Luciana Bohne, Helen Caldicott, Noam Chomsky, Paul Cienfuegos, Yves Engler, Laura Flanders, Denis Halliday, Julia Butterfly Hill, Robert Jensen, Dahr Jamail, Chalmers Johnson, Malalai Joya, Kathy Kelly, Ingmar Lee, Dave Lindorff, Andrew Gavin Marshall, Stefania Maurizi, Greg Palast, Michael Parenti, John Pilger, Kevin Pina, Ted Rall, Paul Craig Roberts, John Ross, David Rovics, Joan Russow, Danny Schechter, Vandana Shiva, Norman Solomon, David Swanson, Andy Worthington, Mickey Z., Howard Zinn and many others.

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