The City of Victoria is proposing to limit the time people can spend in its 137 municipal parks.
City councilors are considering amending the bylaws so that the public can not spend more than 6 hours in a city park in 24 hours.
This change would not target those who shelter at night in the cities parks. The current bylaw allows homeless people to put up their tents in the parks as long as they raise the camp before 7 am. The new regulation only proposes requiring homeless people to change camp sites every morning.
Mayor Lisa Helps agrees with this suggestion because she believes it will help protect the park ecosystem. “When people wake up in the morning, all they ask is that they move at least 100 meters from where they camped to allow the earth to revive,” she said.
In 2015, a tent city arose on the lawn of the Victoria Courthouse, but this provincial property is not subject to municipal bylaws.
City Council must address the issue on Thursday. Other program measures include the closure of sections of the park if necessary for public safety and the right to seize abandoned personal property in the park.