Premier acknowledges homeless issue ‘a serious challenge’

Premier acknowledges homeless issue ‘a serious challenge’

“There are camps and communities like Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, Vancouver, are more recently Langford”

  • Oct. 5, 2018 8:30 a.m.

Paul Bucci/Black Press

Premier John Horgan acknowledged on Thursday that some members of a roving group of homeless campers in Greater Victoria may be activists, but said that he would respect their right to free speech.

“I won’t deny that there are those that may well be more interested in exercising their constitutional rights to speak freely about issues that they care about,” Horgan said at a media availability, “then I’ll respect that as well.”

RELATED: Saanich municipality and police investigate options to disband homeless camp

RELATED: Mayor says Nanaimo has land suitable for ‘rapid response’ to homelessness

RELATED: ‘They had nowhere else to go,’ mayoral candidate hosting tent city campers

Horgan said British Columbia’s homeless issue is a serious challenge.

“Certainly we’re doing our level best to make sure that our housing plan is there for the hard to house and there are many, many in British Columbia,” Horgan said.

“There are camps and communities like Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, Vancouver, are more recently Langford.

“So this is a challenge and a serious one.”

After a two-week stay at the campground of Goldstream Provincial Park, the tent city campers moved into the backyard of a Saanich mayoral candidate.

“This is the last resort, they had nowhere to go so I decided that this was it,” David Shebib said recently, who is once again running for Saanich mayor. “I don’t see politicians coming up with any answers.”

Chrissy Brett, the leader of the homeless camp known as Camp Namegans, said there are about 20 to 25 campers in the space where Shebib resides in Saanich.



c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

A petition was launched urging the District of Coldstream to consider adding a sidewalk to Aberdeen Road Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (Google Maps)
Aberdeen Road needs a sidewalk, says Coldstream resident

The district ran into a steep price tag and lack of land availability the last time they looked into the idea

Vernon resident David Melanson, 21, left the South Hills Tertiary Psychiatric Centre in Brocklehurst at about 1 a.m. on May 12, the day he was reported missing. (Contributed)
Body of missing Vernon man found in Kamloops Lake

David Melanson, 21, left psychiatric centre around 1 a.m. the day he was reported missing

Canadian author Paul Young, who wrote the critically acclaimed novel, the Shack, will join Vernon-based foundation, the Emily Dahl Foundation, for a Fireside Chat event in June 2021. (YouTube)
Acclaimed author to talk mental health at Vernon event

Paul Young, author of bestselling book The Shack, to join Emily Dahl Foundation for Fireside Chat June 8

Vernon-based artist Patricia Neil Lawton is offering a cash reward to the person who can find her missing painting. (Contributed)
Vernon artist offers cash reward for missing painting

Artist Patricia Neil Lawton missing portrait of Billy Muir after downsizing

Shane Ertmoed (right) is serving a life sentence for killing 10-year-old Heather Thomas on Oct. 1, 2000. (File photos)
Child-killer from Vernon an ‘average’ risk to sexually reoffend: Parole Board

Written reasons behind approval of Shane Ertmoed’s request for escorted absences shared

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Vikki and Don Holmberg with their three children Marshall, Ava and oldest Lexi who now lives on her own. The Penticton family is facing the prospect of homelessness after their rental home was sold, leading them to ask the community for help. (Contributed)
‘There’s just nothing’: housing crunch puts Okanagan family on the brink of homelessness

Housing crisis something many in the Okanagan can likely relate to, says mother of three

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardener finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Kelowna rain
Kelowna records driest March on record, spells summer trouble for Okanagan

In March, Kelowna received a total of 2.6 mm of precipitation, compared to the monthly average of almost 22 mm

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

Most Read