Tina Dawson has become a community leader at the parking lot encampment next to Victoria’s Royal Athletic Park. Dawson has only been homeless herself for nine months.

Yet Dawson says she won’t be signing up when the Save-On-Foods arena shelter a block away reopens March 1.

“I can tell you not one of these people here want to move in there,” she said.

“It’s inside a place that’s being monitored and controlled and you don’t feel the safety of having people we know as our neighbours.”

… in response to a request filed Friday by a legal clinic representing the homeless, Quebec Superior Court Justice Chantal Masse ruled that although the curfew was in the public interest, its application imperilled the lives, safety and health of people experiencing homelessness.

The judge noted that the Crown did not challenge evidence presented in court showing tickets — which carry fines up to $6,000 — had already been given to homeless people for allegedly breaking the curfew.

The lawyers requesting the suspension had argued that applying the health order to people experiencing homelessness is “useless, arbitrary, disproportionate and cruel.”

“It causes serious and irreparable prejudices that are not justified in the context of a free and democratic society,” read the request signed by law firm Trudel Johnston and Lesperance.

A government‐commissioned panel is recommending against the introduction of a basic income for all in British Columbia.

The panel’s report, co‐authored by academics at the University of BC, Simon Fraser University and the University of Calgary, says a basic income is not the cure‐all that some advocates believe.

The authors say a more successful strategy would be to reform current policies and programs as well as provide a targeted basic income for youth aging out of care and those with disabilities.

Tina Dawson was home in her tent in the parking lot next to Royal Athletic Park in Victoria on Sunday when she heard an all too familiar scream.

“I can just recall hearing a guttural scream and I know that scream unfortunately too well and I went and he was deceased,” she told CHEK News.

Dawson says the man, who was in his 30’s, was a trusted member of the small encampment, which opened at the end of 2020 and has about 34 tents.

It’s believed he died of a suspected drug overdose. There is no operator at the parking lot encampment and while outreach workers and bylaw officers visit the site daily there are no on-site supports.

The North Park Neighbourhood Association believes the tragedy could have been prevented if the shelter at nearby Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre had been reopened.

Some Pembroke residents are without a warm place to stay and The Grind is looking for solutions. There are currently no homeless shelters in the area.

One local resident is currently sleeping outside at the Farmers Market on Lake Street in Pembroke. The individual declined to provide his name or be interviewed for a news story. Executive Director at The Grind, Jerry Novack, says they’ve been working with this person for roughly 3-years.

Novack says The Grind is currently working with two homeless people in the Pembroke area. He adds they’re actively looking for solutions and trying to identify warming or comfort stations to get them out of the cold.