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Homeless win right to camp in city parks

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#401 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 04:20 PM

What if I rent out my home to tourists during weekends or even weeks at a time in the summer, and then go camp in Beacon Hill Park. I don't have a home to go back to, as I've leased it out and have no legal right to occupy it during those periods. Am I homeless?

#402 Caramia

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 04:36 PM

Thanks Roger,

To be honest I don't know exactly where we go from here, I am a little confused about what this really means for the City. From my understanding, this still only applies to municipal parks so sidewalks are safe. As far as I understand, the City can still create bylaws to protect playgrounds and other specific areas from becoming campgrounds and to impose a time restriction. When they originally created the 7pm-7am policy, their legal council advised them not to make it a bylaw (not sure why, maybe for ease of implementation). As far as I can tell, it might be that nothing has changed except that now the City has to subject the restrictions to public scrutiny.

This means that it will go on the City agenda, and activists will be able to participate in the Council meetings and have their say, as will citizens who have been effected by the camping. A lot depends on who attends those council meetings, and how reasonable they sound when they speak out. I can pretty much guarantee the activists and their supporters will be there. But if you or anyone else feels strongly about the issue, I think the next step is making sure you are represented too. In a way, it isn't just a chance for both crowds to be heard by council. It is also a chance for them to be heard by each other.

One big question I have now is what exactly "temporary" means? To me, temporary gets taken down daily. But I've heard trailer homes being referred to as temporary too, so...

I'll probably be there insisting that playgrounds and the area around playgrounds, as well as sports fields and sensitive ecosystems like Garry Oak Meadows be strictly off-limits, while at the same time agreeing that it is reasonable to put a tent up to provide privacy and protection from the elements.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
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#403 victorian fan

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 04:55 PM

UPDATE: "The city would like to see more housing, not tents," Fortin told reporters at a 2 p.m. press conference. The city council will meet January 29 to get briefed on the ruling and discuss how to proceed, he said, adding that he's already requested meetings with provincial housing minister Rich Coleman and Attorney General Wally Oppal.

"We support housing too," said Faulkner, who was at City Hall to hear Fortin's comments. The promise of housing some day in the future does little to help people who lack shelter today, she said. "Our concern if for people tonight, tomorrow night and every night."


#404 Roger

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 05:06 PM


Thanks for taking the time to reply: Here are some more stories:

Camping activists not guilty of bylaw breach, court finds

Outside court, Victoria police Insp. Jamie Pearce called the ruling "frustrating" and said police can now only act if campers break provincial or criminal law.

"At this time, we don't have any enforcement options available (to deal with tents)," he said. "Until we hear back from city council and what their next steps will be, we have limited enforcement abilities."

Victoria homeless 'not guilty' of camping in parks

#405 sebberry


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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:16 PM

UPDATE: "The city would like to see more housing, not tents,"

That would be good, but how do you move people from tents to housing when they are homeless by choice?

Now if you'll excuse me, I am off to enjoy a hot-chocolate in my car at clover point just beyond the "no parking after 23:00hrs" sign... or is that still illegal because I am not homeless?

I think the city should close all the parks for fertilization ASAP.

#406 Caramia

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 12:33 PM

From one of the TC articles today:

City councillors will tonight discuss a bylaw amendment which would formalize the bylaw enforcement policy that the judge just rejected. Councillors will be able to give up to three readings tonight but would have to wait 24 hours before giving final reading. That would mean the earliest the amendment could be passed would be Saturday. There are no council meetings scheduled for that time, but councillors could agree to a special meeting.

Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#407 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 02:18 PM

^ Since this is short notice, it's not on the posted agenda, but do you think it will be part of the Council meeting (i.e., with public input)? Or will they move this to some "in camera" meeting? (BTW, for the record, I hate all that in camera stuff - it's so anti-transparency...)
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#408 Marilyn

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 09:45 PM

There was mention of a city bylaw that would deny homeless people sleeping outdoors when there was a space available for them in a shelter. That means, room has to be provided for dogs and carts of belongings. That bylaw could only be enforced if there actually were enough shelter spaces available.

City council better get an appeal proof by-law ready before the word gets out that all our parks are open for tent cities. Next on the agenda: low cost housing and more shelters.

Maybe the city could give Johnson a one way ticket to Arizona where he could sleep under the stars and not worry about the rain.

#409 Holden West

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:09 PM

^Yes, unattended shopping carts are confiscated by police. Most shelters disallow dogs.

Looks like there's plenty of room in Arizona for Johnston: look at all the tent cities springing up in the US.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#410 mat

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:13 PM

^ Since this is short notice, it's not on the posted agenda, but do you think it will be part of the Council meeting (i.e., with public input)? Or will they move this to some "in camera" meeting? (BTW, for the record, I hate all that in camera stuff - it's so anti-transparency...)

Likely yes - the legal council for the city will want all council deliberations private, and the judges will agree. This is where Fortin can prove his community credentials - the council meetings can be 'in camera' (no public debate), but he should pledge, and make known beforehand, that the minutes are published. Civic information provision over-rides court authority.

#411 Sue Woods

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:15 PM

Looks like there's plenty of room in Arizona for Johnston: look at all the tent cities springing up in the US.

I wonder if we will soon start to see benefit concerts, fundraising walks etc etc to help provide designated land and shelter now that sweeping unemployment is adding to the existing problem of homelessness. Public initiated - instead of government.

If everyone in the CRD gave $20. we would have $8 million to create a campsite/RV park on the outskirts of the city - with security - infrastructure - camp kitchens - and a shuttle bus to bring people into the city for services.

Richard Leblanc has a similiar idea with his Woodwyn Project but that is more a rehab/ skills training/ farming model - I am talking about pure shelter while affordable housing gets built.

#412 Jacques Cadé

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 03:26 PM

There's an interesting item on the Beacon Hill Park history site, about the gravel trail that the city recently plowed through the Mayors' Grove.


This is exactly the same place where Johnson and Co. had their tents after they won the court decision in October.

Who did more damage to the park: the campers or the city?

#413 victorian fan

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 05:52 PM

Councillors unanimously voted last evening to amend the parks bylaw to forbid camping between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., replacing an enforcement policy struck down by the courts.


#414 ZGsta

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 03:07 PM

Hi there, long time lurker first time poster, yadda yadda.

Did you guys know David Johnston has a website? It's at http://www.angelfire...pes/hatrackman/.

Here's the text of his last couple writings.

Every Ego Dies


What can be said? I sit here, guessing that I'm going to jail tomorrow, maybe for the rest of my life (oh, so dramatic). Hoping that future can be circumvented by the ruling coming out today or tomorrow. Sometimes I write for those who might be reading for the first time... sometimes it's just easier to presume people know what I'm talking about.

I'm not a frivolous media-whore. I'm someone sociopathic enough to not be herded. The curse on the world is so huge it is hard to explain... beyond just saying fate and patience and just letting people figure it out on their own. If one person learns the truth then they are crucified and labeled as crazy. If many people learned the truth it is a movement--- this thing is getting close to a movement and I would rather not starve to death in jail.

The Provincial Court is playing a political game because their bosses know that the current monopoly on sleep will be busted, or the government will have to admit to being tyrannical and just, publicly and officially, not care what the public think... It would be nice to have a victory- to know the job was done correctly. It would be nice to see city hall step out of their role as socially acceptable criminals and just fess up and apologize... I've had that dream before.

I am writing now with the notion that this may be the last thing I send out. There is so much I would want to say. So many people that I love so much. So many little last messages. I love you all and I know your love for me. It's all ok. Everything is perfectly, PERFECTLY, on schedule. I think sometimes a lot of the apathy comes from being unable to imagine world-shaking events are happening right here, right now... that how we deal with this 'right to sleep' will directly affect every single 'Crown' colonized country in the world, and by doing that will affect the whole world... the answer is so simple and so fatal to industry based in lies. Death is better than slavery. Which is why so much attention has been given to deluding slaves into thinking they are free. Your children's lives should be the reason you do not bend for the devil, not the reason you do.

Don't be afraid. Every ego dies. It is nature. Love truth so you can get the most out of whatever life your ego will have. Define your parameters so you need not waste time on desiring the impossible. God is not a ten foot tall bearded guy that grants wishes. God is all and can only be God. The soul of life is the soul of God and when you are humble it shines through you. Avoid pride- understand it so you can avoid being the fool. There is no evil- only those children who've been taught life 'chooses' and can subsequently blame other egos for the things God has made them do. Your ego is made by its experience. Period. Just like everyone (every person be they scaled, two footed or four). So there, objectively, is no evil. So you need not waste time with hating... just think on patience in the hard times, in the confusing times, in the times of doubt and the times of glory. Patience is a window that allows even the most simple of folk look on the grandness of God.

Heaven-on-Earth/freedom is a very real future for this planet... we just have to suffer at maximum so we can find the inspiration to transcend suffering. Utilizing our divinity to figure out our way back to the garden. What else is there? Fear really ain't real- its just a mind****; a lesson of God.

Patience be with every conduit of God's soul.

in fate,

David Arthur Johnston

Victoria, BC, Canada


superdrunk ****you


alright... first thing s first... **** you, I'm superdrunlk

oh ya


this character I've become... so much politics so much bullshit... aopppaerntly the world( I mean billions of people) are under a crazy delusion of separetness... yer god. ****j you. whoa... Im stopping thpoo think about thoughts so enough of that...

england city of cvitoria **** you crazy ************s ... you don't own ****... no one owns anyting... I hope stupid crown takes these words and uses them to prove how much I am not worthy to fight for rithghts of all the other crazy delsusional ****s out there... oh homelsess oh pity me i'm homeless **** you. If you support the cutity you are an idiot motherfucjk sonofa ***** goof **** idiot... really. your little lives of luxury are making me sick and raping the world... RAPING RAPOE RAPE RAPE hold er down boys shes a fighter rape. lazy mother ******s. God is a ****ing job. luxury industry- **** you... no really yer a piece of **** that deserves hell... and by hell I meamn a life of perpetual horrow where your hopes are raised a;ways only to be cast aside... yer a **** if you work for the government... ac complete idoat. Taxpayers--- this should be fun you mindless delsusional idot ****s. Taxpayers -t he foundATION OF ETERNAL HELL oooh capslock--- is this rage... or is this drunk... is it real or should it ve cast aside as something that has no worth... ???? well **** you anyway . is that rage? watching me and my friensd suffer because people are having a hard time dealing with the fact that the crown is a psychotic piece of

**** and all people who follow her as well...? hard to say... easy to say that taxpayers are maintaining hell. so **** YOU TAXPAYERS... ****ing imbeciles... there is no death idoits.... yer God... oh I am so not kidding or lieing or anything yer God and you've never made achoice ever erverever evere ever. If you want to know the meaning of life it is all in the while fate thing. You are your experinec... figure it ourt. hopifully . love love and stuff... I'm a guy... just a guy... most poeple want to think I'm crazy because I say I'm god and stuff... well... **** you.

In love.


My personal opinion about all this is that I just wish that people would stop casting him as a "Homeless Advocate" since his fight is that he and his followers can set up their camps wherever they want rather than actually advocating for the well being of the street people in this city, most of which have problems that extend far beyond not being able to camp in the park. How many street people have the means to own a tent?

It seems to me that the media (especially the TC) is trying to paste their own narrative over this story rather than discussing the real goals of those involved. Why is Johnston always talked about as a homeless advocate instead of a guy on religious/mystical quest to run his own society. And they never put out the stuff about how, to him, we are all rapists and baby killers because we are a part of society and that homeless shelters should be torn down because they are 'Concentration Camps.'
It really bugs me seeing how much money and resources the city is having to expend dealing with this group when it could be going towards making a difference with the people who really need it.

Anyhoo that's just my 2 cents.

#415 martini

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 01:21 AM

Warrant issued for tenter

Times ColonistFebruary 13, 2009 10:01 PM

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a homeless Victoria man convicted Thursday of breaching a City of Victoria bylaw against daytime tenting on public property.

David Johnston did not attend Victoria provincial court yesterday to set a date for his sentencing hearing. His co-accused David Shebib will be sentenced March 5.

Johnston believes the bylaw, which forbids erecting temporary shelter on public property between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., is unconstitutional.
© Copyright © The Victoria Times Colonist

#416 victorian fan

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 10:02 AM

City must pay legal bills in right-to-camp hearing

Two lawyers took up the case of Victoria's homeless on a pro bono basis, but will now have their legal tabs paid by the city.

Justice Ross has ruled the City of Victoria must pay an estimated $260,000 to lawyers Irene Faulkner and Catherine Boies Parker.



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