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Tent city residents not given vouchers to camp at Goldstream

Contrary to local rumours, the province has not given free camping vouchers to former residents of Tent City for Goldstream Provincial Park. - Gazette file photo
Contrary to local rumours, the province has not given free camping vouchers to former residents of Tent City for Goldstream Provincial Park.
— image credit: Gazette file photo

In connection with recent crimes in the Langford Meadows area around Humpback Road, rumours have been swirling on social media sites.

Some residents even contacted the Gazette after hearing speculation the province has given the region’s homeless residents vouchers to stay at the nearby Goldstream Provincial Park campground.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Environment confirmed that B.C. Parks has not issued any vouchers to homeless residents for camping. However, he did note recipients of the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation’s person with disabilities benefits, who provide proof of eligibility, may camp in B.C. Parks front country campsites free of charge for up to 14 nights in most locations across the province, including Goldstream.

West Shore RCMP is still investigating recent property thefts in the area and Const. Alex Berube said at this point there is no connection between the crimes and the region’s homeless population.

“Homeless residents should in no way be labelled as being responsible for those crimes if there is no evidence to support such a statement.”

He added the local detachment has actually experienced “very positive” stories involving the area’s homeless population. Berube pointed to the homeless man that found and turned in roughly $2,000 to police in the summer of 2015. A GoFundMe campaign quickly gained momentum to reward this selfless act, but once the man was found, he asked that the funds be donated to the Our Place Society instead.

For more information on the free camping criteria, go to env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/fees/disability.html.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

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