Police raid Duncan’s homeless camp, make arrest

Camp leader Crissy Brett taken into custody

More than a dozen police and bylaw officers descended on Duncan’s homeless camp at approximately 9 a.m. Friday.

The officials ordered the campers to remove their tents and possessions from Charles Hoey Park, and most began to dismantle the camp site with no problems reported.

Crissy Brett, the leader and spokeswoman for the group of approximately 15 campers that have been camping in the downtown park since last month, was handcuffed and read her rights.

She was the only one reportedly taken into custody.

But Brett, a member of the Nuxalt First Nation, fell to the ground and began chanting a native prayer while her rights were read to her.

Several police officers then picked Brett off the ground and placed her in a carrying blanket before she was taken to a nearby police van and taken away.

“Shame on Canada, B.C. and Duncan,” Brett shouted as she was being carried to the police van.

“People can’t be treated this way. You can be charged with cruelty to animals but people who are left out in the cold will be arrested.”

A statement from the City of Duncan shortly after the police raid said the campers were removed because they were in violation of a court injunction issued by the Supreme Court of BC on April 18.

“When the campers did not cooperate with the injunction to leave the park by 3 p.m. on April 20, they were given a final notice to vacate the park and remove their possessions,” the statement said.

“This morning, the RCMP worked collaboratively with the city to enforce the provisions of the order. Throughout the duration of the encampment, the city maintained regular contact with Warmland House to ensure there are beds available for those campers who wished to relocate the shelter.”

But Celestine Norris, one of the campers who was taking down her tent Friday morning said she has no idea where she will spend the night.

“I’ve been banned from the shelter,” she said under the watchful eyes of RCMP officers.

“My ban is supposed to be reviewed in a month. I’m told there’s a place for me in a shelter on Saltspring Island, but I have a meeting with my probation officer on Tuesday so I can’t go anywhere yet. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”

Duncan Mayor Phil Kent said Charles Hoey Park is a central gathering place for the community.

“While we appreciate the need for more affordable housing in the area, we don’t agree with the campers violating city bylaws and impeding the Duncan residents’ use and enjoyment of the park,” he said.

The homeless camp, which at its peak had approximately 12 tents, was originally established in Charles Hoey Park on March 31 as a temporary protest to advocate for affordable housing.

The city repeatedly requested that campers vacate the area and when those efforts were unsuccessful, the city sought an injunction against the campers.

The Supreme Court heard the merits of the case on April 18t and an injunction was granted to have the campers vacate the park by 3 p.m. on April 20.

The campers refused to comply with the conditions of the injunction.

 

Crissy Brett, a leader of the homeless camp in Duncan, is read her rights after the police raided the site Friday morning (Robert Barron photo) Crissy Brett, one of the leaders of the homeless camp in Duncan, is taken into custody Friday morning (Robert Barron photo)

RCMP officers watch closely as campers take down their tents in Duncan Friday morning. (Robert Barron)

Celestine Norris, one of the displaced campers from the homeless camp in Duncan, gathers her possessions after the police raid on Friday morning. (Robert Barron photo)

Just Posted

Excavators help cute kid who copied their dig with his toys stay “safe at work”

Carson Carnegie wakes up at 7:00 am every morning to watch construction work on his street

Ladysmith charitable foundation targeting $60K for students in need

Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation’s Stock the Lockers campaign goes until Sept. 3

Update on Machine Shop renovations presented to council

Prelimiary work has commenced as the Town awaits building permit approval

Stone sculpture on the move in Chemainus

Cline’s massive piece donated to the community 20 years ago relocating to Heritage Square

The Worldly Gourmet Kitchen Store celebrates six years

The Worldly Gourmet is Ladysmith’s premier location for international gourmet and commercial cookware

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

B.C. daycare operator denies negligence in death of ‘Baby Mac’

Infant died in early 2017 after biting an electrical cord, according to a lawsuit filed by his mom

BC SPCA reopens animal cruelty investigation at Abbotsford pig farm

Additional alleged footage released from Excelsior Hog Farm sparks new investigation

RCMP on Vancouver Island seek information on alleged ‘breaking out’ bandit

Man alleged to have hid in Nanaimo business washroom ceiling overnight, took monitors

Donor upset no one noticed B.C. school’s sculpture had been missing for a year

Agassiz’s Fraser River Lodge owner baffled how theft went undetected

Purple fentanyl among items seized in B.C. drug bust

Youth being recruited as drivers for more-established drug dealers, police say

Fatal overdoses in B.C. drop 30% during first half of year

A total of 538 people have died between January and June, BC Coroners Service reports

Most Read