Campers defy court order at illegal tent city in Duncan


Up to 20 campers have defied a court order to leave an illegal tent city in the middle of downtown Duncan by 3 p.m. today.

“They are staying put … for now,” said lawyer Troy DeSouza, who represented the City of Duncan in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday when Justice Brian D. MacKenzie granted the injunction.

“They had their day in court. They lost. Now they are in public defiance of a judge’s order,” DeSouza said in an email to the Times Colonist. He could not comment further on what the next steps might be.

At about 2 p.m., a city commissionaire gave campers a notice letter concerning the court order that applies to Charles Hoey Park.

On the FaceBook page of homeless activist Chrissy Brett, a woman could be heard telling the uniformed official: “I have absolutely nothing to say to you until 3,” adding that there were people planning to peacefully defy the injunction. Just before 4 p.m., a First Nations drummer continued to play in the park.

Brett, an advocate for more housing for low income and homeless people had unsuccessfully sought a delay in the proceedings on Tuesday in court. She was also active in Victoria’s tent city, which was disbanded in August 2016, more than nine months after it first coalesced on the lawn of the Victoria courthouse on Burdett Street.

The Duncan campers have a legal right to camp in Duncan Parks from 7 p.m. but their tents must be taken down by 9 a.m.

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