The City of Victoria has imposed a two-year ban on camping in Beacon Hill Park in a motion passed on Thursday morning.
Last month, a ban on 24-hour camping in the city’s parks was reimplemented in Victoria, but overnight sheltering was still permitted.
But now, the motion put forward by the committee has added Beacon Hill Park to a list of parks where overnight parking isn’t allowed.
The City of Victoria, along with BC Housing, procured and offered housing to anyone displaced by the order.
Since the reimplementation, volunteers have cleaned the camping areas, including areas around Beacon Hill Park.
According to Mayor Lisa Helps, the ongoing sheltering at the park has had a substantial impact on the Garry Oak ecosystems.
The two-year ban will give the environment time to recover from the effects of campers, said Mayor Helps.
The committee will still have to approve the motion in two weeks time, and if approved, the ban would go into effect immediately, lasting until 2023.
Depending on the condition of Beacon Hill Park, an extension would be considered.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, hundreds of people experiencing homelessness flocked to camp in parks in and around Victoria.
In response, the province, along with BC Housing, purchased several hotels and lots to ensure there was enough space to house those experiencing homelessness.