Saturday, July 20, 2024

Province Changes Focus to Safety Requirements for Tent City site


Following a court decision to allow campers to stay at the Victoria courthouse site through the summer, the provincial government says it is working with the City of Victoria, along with fire and police officials, to develop a plan for safety standards to better protect people at the site and nearby residents.

In late February, the Fire Commissioner inspected the tent city site and ordered dwellers to deal with several fire hazards. The province and the city are concerned that the site is still not safe however and will be looking into a number of safety measures to address the fire commissioner’s concerns.

Some of the concerns include:

  • a safe amount of space between the tents
  • elimination of open burning and the use of flames and candles at the site
  • ensuring all areas of the site enable people to exit in the case of an emergency and are accessible to police and fire officials

The Province has employed the services of the Portland Hotel Society to help in the management and safety of the site and to work with campers to connect them with housing, health and other services.

The goal is to have the society provide these services eventually on a 24/7 basis.

“I’m pleased that, in response to the City of Victoria and our public, the province has engaged a service provider to manage the tenting area,  including addressing the health-and-safety concerns,” said Mayor Lisa Helps in a statement.

Meanwhile spokesperson for Mad As Hell, and local resident Stephen Hammond, was skeptical of the non-for profit, after a 2014 audit by the government, showed the society had misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars on luxury trips, hotels, restaurant meals and other expenses. He would like to see money spent on the safety of nearby residents and on Thursday evening he addressed Council, requesting 24/7 police presence for the area.

Related: “Changing Street Behaviour” – Business Representatives Address City Council

Victoria Buzz Staff
Your inside source for Greater Victoria happenings. Established in 2012.

Read more

Latest Stories