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Victoria police investigating a sudden death in Beacon Hill Park

Victoria police officers are investigating a sudden death in Beacon Hill Park Wednesday morning.

Police confirmed they were called to the park just before 6 a.m. along with paramedics.

A person had been found unresponsive and was later confirmed deceased.

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Police said traffic on Dallas Road, between Cook and Douglas streets, is temporarily closed while the investigation continues.

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The park has been the site of a homeless camp for some time now, although it is not clear at this time if the deceased person is in any way connected to the camp.

On Tuesday, the City of Victoria filed a petition in the Supreme Court of B.C. asking for clarification on whether the park can be used by people without homes for temporary sheltering.

The city said in a statement it is posing this question to the court as the park is held in trust by the city and it is unclear how they should operate the space under the Trustee Act.

“Chronic homelessness, a global health pandemic that has closed shelters, mental health and addiction supports stretched beyond capacity – these are modern realities that did not exist in 1882 when the trust was created and we need clarity on how this trust affects people’s rights today,” Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said in a statement.
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The city said the application is not an action against homeless people using the park but neither the 1882 Crown grant nor the Public Parks Act, 1876, identifies all the uses to which Beacon Hill Park may be put by the public, only that it be preserved by the city as a public park.

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