Victoria homeless 'not guilty' of camping in parks
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, January 28, 2009 1:34PM PST
VICTORIA -- A judge has found three homeless activists not guilty of violating a Victoria city policy on camping in parks.
The decision forces the city back to the drawing board over regulating homeless camping in public parks.
The city's policy, which limited camping in parks to between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., was brought in after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled a city bylaw banning people from setting up temporary shelter was unconstitutional.
Judge Brian MacKenzie says while he personally feels the city's policy changes to the original bylaw are a reasonable compromise that might pass a constitutional test, they must be worked into a proper bylaw.
As a result MacKenzie says he could not convict the accused of violating the policy.
The three activists, Kristen Woodruff, David Johnston and Tavis Dodds, have been repeatedly accused of violating the anti-camping policy.