Date: Monday, March 21, 2022
Victoria, BC –Vehicle access to the James Bay area will continue to be limited to local vehicles only.
Officers with the Greater Victoria Public Safety Unit (PSU) and VicPD Traffic established vehicle access points in James Bay as local vehicle traffic only areas came into effect on Saturday, March 19, 2022. Those wishing to attend the B.C. Legislature were invited to do so on foot, by bicycle or B.C. Transit. B.C. Transit, which has stops at the B.C. Legislature, continued to operate as usual.
VicPD officers with the Greater Victoria Public Safety Unit (PSU) at a vehicle access point at Douglas and Superior streets
Approximately 150 vehicles attempted to attend the B.C. Legislature on Saturday as part of a protest. Vehicles that did not meet the local vehicle access requirements were not permitted into the area. Most of the drivers of the protest vehicles who were part of a convoy parked in legal parking spots and continued to the B.C. Legislature on foot. Early Saturday afternoon, a crowd of several hundred marched down Douglas Street before returning to the B.C. Legislature grounds. VicPD Traffic officers temporarily halted traffic during the march.
These measures have met with strong public support.
Local vehicle access only areas
Truck Stuck In Beacon Hill Park Impounded | 22-10290
Once the local traffic areas were in effect Saturday morning, several non-local vehicles attempted to access the local vehicle access only areas and were turned away. A truck with a snowmobile in the back was originally seen by officers at Cook Street and Dallas Road attempting to access the James Bay local vehicle traffic only area. The driver initially claimed to live in James Bay. They were turned away and given the handout that officers at the access points are providing which explains the legal authorities and provides a map.
Officers were then notified that the truck was attempting to drive across a field in Beacon Hill Park and had become stuck. VicPD Traffic officers attended and began their investigation. They discovered that the vehicle had previously been given a level 1 Notice and Order for a defect which required immediate remedy. The vehicle plates were seized and the vehicle towed to impound. The driver was issued $600 in fines for the Notice and Order. The file remains under investigation.
Truck stuck in field
The local vehicle access only areas continued to be in effect Sunday and Monday. Officers at the local access points spoke with several drivers who were not local vehicle traffic and were attempting to access the James Bay area on both Sunday and today. Traffic delays have been minor on both days. James Bay remains local vehicle access only.
VicPD supports the right to safe, peaceful and lawful protest. We are working to maintain public safety while facilitating an environment for safe, peaceful and lawful protest while also minimizing impacts on area residents and businesses.
Our temporary, monitored CCTV cameras remain in place in the downtown and James Bay area. If you have concerns about these road closures or our CCTV camera deployment please email [email protected].
We will continue to provide up to date traffic and protest response information. Please follow our VicPDCanada Twitter account for the most recent details.