Council was told security hired to prevent encampments wouldn’t make arrests. One councillor is questioning why city documents say otherwise. On the council floor, councillor Scott Veinott says he’s told his council colleagues there’d be no arrests, but his information doesn’t match information in police documents.
Veinott says he has no details about whether or not a police officer would have followed police instructions or made arrests.
City manager Gary Burrill sent a memo to councillors asking them to support a police report recommending no charges be laid to those living in the campground. Veinott says councillors asked for more detail and he says Burrill ignored their requests. Burrill also directed council to a report prepared by police chief Doug McNeil.
McNeil wrote in the report no crimes were committed and there was no evidence of criminal activity by campers.
“The report was sent to council in an email that did not meet the council’s standards,” Veinott says.
He says McNeil has no evidence to back up his assertion.
As a result, council has decided to postpone any decisions to spend up to $7 million earmarked for the campground after police say they can’t guarantee public safety.
Campers say they’re frustrated campers aren’t being told the truth about the campground. They say officers tell them to pay a $9,000 fine, even though they’re not in violation of any law, and don’t have to pay for a permit.
“We don’t need a permit for an outdoor campground and we don’t need to pay a fine. We could have our tents pitched, we could put a tent in our yard,” says Chris Ritz, camp manager of the Oromocto Campground.
Ritz and others say they haven’t heard from city officials or