Campers defy edict to leave Dun­can park

Times Colonist - - The Capital -

A band of il­le­gal campers de­fied a B.C. Supreme Court or­der to leave a tent city in a down­town Dun­can park by 3 p.m. Thurs­day.

At 9 p.m., they were still there, with a se­cu­rity guard hired by the city keep­ing an eye on things, said city of­fi­cial Peter de Ver­teuil.

The group, en­camped in Charles Hoey Park since March 31, re­mained de­spite an in­junc­tion di­rect­ing the RCMP to en­force pro­vi­sions of the court or­der af­ter 3 p.m.

“They are stay­ing put … for now,” said lawyer Troy DeSouza Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

He rep­re­sented the city in court Tues­day when Jus­tice Brian D. MacKen­zie granted the or­der.

“They had their day in court. They lost. Now they are in pub­lic de­fi­ance of a judge’s or­der,” DeSouza said in an email to the Times Colonist.

De Ver­teuil said there would be no fur­ther com­ment “un­til next steps are taken.”

In a record­ing posted to the Face­book page of home­less ac­tivist Chrissy Brett, a woman could be heard telling a uni­formed of­fi­cial be­fore 3 p.m. that peo­ple would peace­fully defy the in­junc­tion. A First Na­tions drum­mer played in the park af­ter 4, pizza and pop were de­liv­ered about 6 p.m. A photo of a rain­bow over the camp was posted to the Face­book page about 7 p.m.

Brett, an ad­vo­cate for more af­ford­able hous­ing, un­suc­cess­fully sought a de­lay in Tues­day’s court pro­ceed­ings.

The Dun­can campers have a le­gal right to camp in Dun­can parks af­ter 7 p.m., but their tents must be taken down by 9 a.m.

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