Press Release For Canadian Tent City Ruling (Oct. 24, 2008)




It is phenomenal, what is happening here in Victoria and soon the rest of Canada and the Commonwealth. Essentially, non-property holders have been given the right to exist and property holders are freaking.


A BC Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of municipal bylaws that prohibit sleeping (in a temporary abodes in crappy weather) in public spaces has just come down.


The crux of it is, quoting the presiding judge, the Honourable Madam Justice Ross: “In these circumstances I have concluded that the course that is most appropriate is to grant a declaration that the Bylaws are of no force and effect insofar as they apply to prevent homeless people from erecting temporary shelter.”


This leaves the municipality responsibility for guiding away the temporary abodes to places more fit for the job than any public access land that might not be so (from deep bush to the lawn in front of city hall).


In the case of Victoria, however, the city’s response was the inception of a new bylaw restricting temporary abodes between 7:00 AM and 9:00PM, during the day when even you can’t sleep at any shelters.


The city is aware this is unconstitutional, it is only a matter of time before they are held accountable and they realize they can restrict all tents from parks if they did have a place for them to go (these places, of course, lest they turn into internment camps, will have provisions for growth and mayhaps even the barest of amenities).


The dramatic concern and biggest excuse in resenting tent-cities is the crime it attracts.


No doubt, along with the soon to be massive influx of ordinary Joes and Janes, the most undisciplined of society will be attracted to the notion of having their own space at tent-cities.


So sometimes it becomes the responsibility of the individual to accept notions of maturity, standing and not putting up with meanness, period. People will find tent-cities have lives of their own and adjust just as efficiency dictates.


With that, I would suggest that the Crown will never acknowledge total financial collapse and subsequently is not preparing for it, beyond resorting to psychotic behaviour to live as long as it can.


Tent cities are not in the management plans of the rulers.


So, with all sacredness, patience be with us all.


Presume innocence of each piece of life, at least until you know better, and the joy of a loving community will be yours.


David Arthur Johnston


Victoria, B.C.


(Official Court ruling can be found at- )