Oil Springs mayor wants tent ban in municipal parks

Hart Park in Oil Springs.

Blake Ellis/The Independent

“Somebody got stabbed in Sarnia and we don’t need that here,” says Oil Springs Mayor Ian Veen.

At the May 7 Oil Springs council meeting, Veen asked Oil Springs Clerk Martha Gawley to draft a bylaw at the next the village’s next council meeting in June, which would forbid camping on municipal property, unless it is sanctioned.

Sarnia Police responded to Rainbow Park on Christina Street at 6:35 pm on Monday, where a 40-year-old man was stabbed in the neck. Richard William Thomas Hales of Sarnia faces charges including attempted murder and failing to comply with a probation order. He is being held in custody, pending  a bail hearing. Both men were known to each other. The victim is expected to recover.

Sarnia city council rescinded its previous decision on Monday to dismantle tents occupied by the homeless population in Rainbow Park. Instead a protocol will be developed on encampments in the city. There is an estimated 30 to 40 people living in the Rainbow Park camp. 

“I feel for them,” said Veen, about the homeless, but the kind of thing that has transpired at Rainbow Park, he doesn’t want to see in Oil Springs.

Councillor Larry Wagner said this is a much bigger issue in Sarnia.


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