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

Wet’suwet’en pipeline supporters speak up

“The protesters get one side of the story, and they stand up with their fists in the air”: Skin

Groups in Terrace receive grants from logging profits

Money comes from the city-owned Terrace Community Forest fund

Regional ringette team off to the BC Winter Games

Players come from Terrace and Houston

Bachrach rejects calls for police action against demonstrators

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP says only way out of crisis is “true nation-to-nation” talks

Guinness Book of World Records’ towering tree swing taken down in Terrace

The Southside recreation fixture measured more than 64 feet

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

One dead in multi-vehicle collision involving logging truck on northern B.C. highway

DriveBC says highway expected to remain closed until 8 p.m.

B.C. teacher gets 15-year ban after lying about having sex with just-graduated student

Teacher had been dishonest with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Pipeline talks got B.C. railway open, can work again: Horgan

Premier says protest excesses damage Wet’suwet’en case

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

Maggie and Tim: B.C. residential school survivor turns to faith, forgiveness in mourning son

A young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

Most Read