Victoria Police seized at least one vehicle this weekend amid protests against COVID-19 mandates outside the BC legislature.
Police have set up “controlled entry points” in the city’s James Bay neighborhood in an effort to prevent trucks and other large vehicles from blocking streets and causing excessive noise around the legislative site.
The checkpoints remained in place Monday, restricting access to local vehicles and those with legitimate business nearby, such as going to the park or library.
On Saturday, the driver of a pickup truck was stopped by police on Cook Street and Dallas Road. The driver told police he lives in James Bay and was going home, according to Victoria Police.
However, it appears that the driver then attempted to access the area around the legislature by cutting through the “very wet, grassy ground of Beacon Hill Park,” VicPD spokesman Bowen Osoko told CFAX 1070 on Monday.
The driver had received a “level one” notice for his vehicle last week, Osoko said. A level one report requires the immediate removal of a vehicle from the road until the vehicle is repaired in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Regulations Act, according to provincial law.
The truck got stuck in the grass of Beacon Hill Park and had to be towed.
The driver was fined $600, the truck impounded and the license plates seized, VicPD said.
The move to restrict access to James Bay and the BC legislature comes as organizers and supporters of the self-proclaimed “Freedom Convoy” that occupied central Ottawa for several weeks continue to pledge a similar occupation in Victoria.
The Victoria Police Department described these tactics as having a “significant and illegal impact” on residents and businesses in the James Bay area.
The BC capital has seen “eight weeks of ongoing disruptions with vehicles, slow-roll blockades and the use of horns, including modified air train and ship horns,” the Victoria Police Department said in a statement on Saturday, citing solidarity protests that have sparked occurred. held in the legislature since the beginning of the Freedom Convoy.
“Related protest events in other cities have seen a recent escalation of events, including clashes between protest groups and clashes with police,” VicPD said.
“This escalation, and the impact of eight weeks of ongoing protest on residents and businesses in James Bay and the BC Legislative Area, requires VicPD to step up our response to ensure we can keep people safe and provide a safe, peaceful and lawful protest environment.” .”