Tents Centennial Square
(Brishti Basu, Victoria Buzz)

Victoria Council voted to allow campers back into Centennial Square two days after they ordered the removal of an encampment in the area.

In a Committee of the Whole meeting, Councillor Geoff Young put forward a motion to permit camping in the Square and was seconded by Councillor Ben Isitt.

While debating the motion Councillor Jeremy Loveday proposed an amendment that would have limited camping to evening hours between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Loveday’s amendment was defeated, while Young’s motion passed with Mayor Lisa Helps, Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe and Loveday opposed.

Campers in Centennial Square were ordered to depart by September 1 following an investigation by Victoria Police that led to the issuing of warrants for 17 people on drug-related charges involving the camp.

Council was also set to debate a motion brought by Helps and Thornton-Joe to add nearly $100K in police funding for a special duty patrol around parks.

During debate on the motion Councillor Shamarke Dubow expressed his opposition, while Loveday proposed a postponement of the motion until city staff reported with up-to-date budget figures.

Council voted to postpone the motion on police funding and is set to reconvene next week.