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Bylaw banning daytime camping in Victoria parks back in force

Tents belonging to homeless campers are pitched on the grass in Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island on March 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Don Denton

Sheltering in a Victoria, B.C., park in a tent or other structure during the daytime is once again illegal.

As of Saturday, May 1, the city has reinstated its bylaw that bans daytime camping in city parks.

Read more: B.C. signs deal with City of Victoria to end homeless camps, bring people inside

City council approved the move in March, after the province agreed it would make shelter or housing space available to anyone who was sheltering in a park or ravine.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver’s Strathcona Park homeless encampment finally cleared out' Vancouver’s Strathcona Park homeless encampment finally cleared out
Vancouver’s Strathcona Park homeless encampment finally cleared out – Apr 30, 2021

While the bylaw is back in force, the city said it won’t be enforcing it on everyone immediately.

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As people transition to indoor housing spaces, the city says anyone who is signed up for a shelter space will be allowed to stay in a local park all day until their space is ready.

Read more: More than 180 moved out of Strathcona Park encampment ahead of Friday deadline: park board

The city, along with the province and bc housing, are working to deliver more than 220 transitional housing spaces for Victoria’s homeless population.

Anyone who chose not to sign up for an indoor shelter must pack up their tents between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park has been the site of a tent encampment of homeless people that has grown during the pandemic, bringing with it crime and community resentment.

— with files from the Canadian Press

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