School district removes Spring Ridge Commons furniture

In February, the principal of Vic High responded to a complaint about drug use in Spring Ridge Commons by telling his colleagues the Commons was “a cesspool.” Later that same week, SD61 began a months-long project to remove furniture and seating in the Commons, to displace homeless people and people who use drugs.

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Stephen Harrison
Forts on Fort

Nobody loves defensive architecture quite like Fort Street. Outside of business hours, locked gates shut off empty alcoves, blocking sheltered and semi-private spaces from people who might otherwise use them overnight.

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Stephen Harrison
A potpourri of displacement

Locked gates and a “No Public Access” sign have been added to the potpourri of displacement at the 836 Yates walkway. Future plans for the development next door include “decorative” defensive architecture.

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Stephen Harrison
136 people are peeing in Victoria right now

Building on some Internet math, StatsCan data, and an average pee time of 21 seconds and 6.5 pees per day, about 136 people are peeing in Victoria at any given time. That’s a lot of people, which is one of the reasons it’s sad that the city lost a low-barrier washroom in April.

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Stephen Harrison
VicPD's street checks are racist, because of course they are

A review of one month of VicPD street check reports shows that officers disproportionately street check Indigenous individuals and members of the street community. The reports also include at least one street check that would appear to constitute police misconduct if it were held to Ontario’s new street check rules; officers policing sex work in a way that contradicts VicPD’s public statements; and officers using people’s fear of police to initiate processes that lead to street checks.

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Stephen Harrison
Victoria’s 2014 street check rate second only to Edmonton

In 2014, Victoria, B.C. police officers street checked the city’s population at a higher rate than any other jurisdiction in Canada, with the exception of Edmonton. Victoria police performed 3,059 street checks in 2014, equivalent to 3.18 per cent of Victoria and Esquimalt’s 2011 census population. For Canadian cities where I could find statistics, that made Victoria’s street check rate the second-highest in the country.

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Stephen Harrison