Homeless camps in Victoria to be clear by end of day, province says

A pair of tent cities in Victoria were expected to be cleared out by the end of the day, after the province said it found accommodation for more than 300 homeless campers.

Social Development Minister Shane Simpson gave an update on Wednesday on B.C.’s plan to provide temporary housing to tent city residents living along Pandora Avenue and in Topaz Park in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.

He said 308 campers have been moved to privacy pods at Save-on-Foods Arena and to the Comfort Inn hotel, which the province recently purchased, and provided with support services.


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The province will also arrange housing for the additional 30 people who arrived at the Victoria camps since BC Housing staff started the transfer on April 25, Simpson said.

“There is a small number of people who have simply said they are not going to go inside. That is their choice. We are not going to force anyone to go inside,” he said.

“What we are doing for those people is provide them information. We are telling them they need to leave the site. Our expectation is that will occur.”

The municipality will take over the Pandora and Topaz sites and be in charge of removing any remaining tents and personal belongings.

Campers at the controversial Oppenheimer Park on Vancouver’s Downtown Seaside were also moved into temporary hotel housing.

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