Occupy British Colombia: A Protest Precedent

City officials in Victoria and Vancouver are busy appealing to the B.C. Supreme Court to have Occupy encampments dismantled.

Occupy Vancouver

Photo By: Craig Johnson


On November 5th a Victoria woman died from a drug overdose at Vancouver’s Occupy movement. Ashlie Gough was found dead at 4:40 PM. The toxicology report released today confirms she had a lethal mixture of heroine and cocaine in her system.

Shortly after Gough’s death Vancouver’s Chief of Police Jim Chu said that the camp had been “infiltrated by a violent element” and urged protesters to dismantle the camp peacefully.

City-officials have since appealed to the B.C. Supreme Court to have the camps removed.  The Court went as far as granting an injunction against the site, ordering protesters to comply immediately with city’s Fire Bylaw.

As of yesterday Vancouver’s Fire Chief John McKearney was encouraged by the 80% compliance rate at the Vancouver Art Gallery campsite.

The city of Vancouver will head back to the Supreme Court of British Colombia on Wednesday seeking once again an injunction that would see the camp removed. Currently the movement is being represented by Vancouver lawyers Michael McCubbin and Jason Gratl.


Occupy Victoria

Photo By: Bruce Dean


In Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin wants to see the camp at Centennial Square dismantled before the holiday season.  In response to the Mayors request protesters have re-organized to make room for an outdoor skating rink.

Mayor Fortin accused Centennial Square as being a breeding ground for drugs users noting that the city has received upwards of 65 phone calls about the camp since October 15th.

The City of Victoria will make their case to the B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday where they hope to have the camp legally removed. Occupy Victoria has yet to secure legal representation for Tuesday’s hearing, but intend on staying put until there is a decision by the court.


Possible Precedent

Given that several Canadian cities are facing similar situations (notably, Toronto, Calgary and Halifax), or have been legally evicted altogether, it is likely that the decisions handed down in Vancouver and Victoria will be precedent setting.


Categories: Occupy Montreal, Politics, Uncategorized


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