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Regina mayor says homeless camp was reaching 'critical point' before teardown

Regina's mayor says the city's fire department had growing concerns about the health, safety and well-being of those living in a homeless camp that was dismantled on Wednesday morning.

Around a dozen people were staying at the encampment on the 1800 block of Halifax Street when it was bulldozed following calls from the property owner.

While speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Sandra Masters said the city wasn't involved in the teardown, although Regina firefighters and police were on-scene to provide support.

“We understand that mobile crisis was on site to offer forms of housing," Masters said.

According to Masters, police and the fire department had been monitoring the encampment for "some time."

“It was the Regina Fire and Protective Services which flagged that we were reaching kind of a critical point as it related to health, safety and well-being issues. [Police] had been checking regularly as well with regards to the safety of the folks in the encampment,” Masters said.

The owner of the property eventually gave notice that he would be coming in to clear his land of the encampment, Masters said.

“Then there was a coordination amongst our public safety agencies as well as a community-based organization like mobile crisis being on site to make sure folks were connected with services and that things were done with compassion and safety,” Masters said.

Masters said she believes the general consensus is that an encampment is not a solution to homelessness.

Regina police and the fire department will be working on how to move forward when it comes to homeless encampments, Masters said.

She said city administration would have more information in the next couple of weeks.

“I believe what we’ve learned from across the country and North America is that while again, encampments are not a solution, they also create significant risk who stay there once it reaches a particular critical mass.” Top Stories


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