Woman Arrested at Regina Park After Assulting Firefighter

Saanich, BC:

BACKGROUND:

On Friday, June 29, 2018 the Office of the Fire Commissioner issued an order, pursuant to the Fire Service Act, to the District of Saanich. 

In order to mitigate fire and life safety hazards in Regina Park, the District needs to ensure the occupiers of the encampment comply with the following items:

  1. Position all personal temporary shelters and temporary structures so that they are separated by one (1) metre to prevent the rapid spread of fire.
  2. Remove flammable tarpaulins over personal temporary shelters and other structures.
  3. Personal temporary shelters and temporary structures must be positioned such that entrances face a path of egress and have three (3) metres of clearance away from combustible brush.
  4. Remove all tents within three (3) metres of a combustible fence or structure.
  5. Ensure a path of egress is maintained clear of obstructions for all personal temporary shelters and temporary structures.
  6. Have all propane cylinders stored in a secured area away from egress routes.
  7. Remove all open flame lighting and heating from personal temporary shelters.
  8. Remove combustible household furniture from the site.
  9. Remove all combustible construction materials, wood pallets, lumber flooring, carpet, underlay and excessive combustible storage from the site.
  10. Separate open flame cooking equipment a minimum of three (3) metres from combustible materials and do not use under combustible overhangs.
  11. Ensure no smoking within the park.

Between June 29 and July 5, 2018, Saanich staff attended Regina Park numerous times to inform those encamped there of the safety risks, and the Office of the Fire Commissioner’s order. The occupiers of the encampment have been asked to comply with all items immediately in order to mitigate fire and life safety hazards in the park.

EVENTS OF JULY 6, 2018:

Staff from the Saanich Parks and Fire Departments, with support from Saanich Police, attended Regina Park on July 6, 2018, in order to help those encamped at the park achieve voluntary compliance. Saanich Parks Department staff have offered the occupiers assistance in removing fire hazard materials and moving their shelters to ensure they comply with the Office of the Fire Commissioner’s order.  This work had also been partially carried out on July 5, 2018.

On July 6, 2018 at around noon, a 43 year old woman was arrested at the encampment.  The woman, who has been self-referred to as the encampment founder, was interfering and obstructing the Saanich Fire Department in their duties. The woman would not allow the Saanich Fire Department onto the property and was physically blocking them from ensuring there were no life/fire safety hazards at the site.  At one point the woman produced an air-horn, pointed it at the ear of a fireman and blasted a loud audible signal in his direction. 

The woman has been arrested for obstruction and assault. She will appear before the courts at a later date. 

After the arrest, staff from the Saanich Parks and Fire Departments have been able to continue to help those encamped at the park.  Saanich Parks Department staff are removing fire hazard materials and moving their shelters to ensure they comply with the Office of the Fire Commissioner’s order. 

The Saanich Police know that the District of Saanich continues to work toward a resolution of the illegal encampment upon the park property. Updates about the Regina Park encampment can be found on their website at saanich.ca/encampment.

Sgt. Jereme Leslie #228

Saanich Police

Special thanks to Baremetal.com for hosting

Baremetal