Nova Scotia

More time for Occupy N.S. to comply: Landry

Justice Minister Ross Landry says Occupy Nova Scotia demonstrators would have had more time to pack up if he had been running the operation.
Halifax police arrested 14 people on Friday. (CBC)

Justice Minister Ross Landry says Occupy Nova Scotia demonstrators would have had more time to pack up if he had been running the operation.

"Notice would have been nice on the enforcement of the bylaw," said Landry, a former RCMP detachment commander.

Demonstrators in Halifax's Victoria Park were handed eviction notices soon after Remembrance Day ceremonies concluded on Friday. Police began to dismantle tents two hours later.

Fourteen people were arrested. Two were arraigned in Halifax provincial court on Monday.

Landry said he respects the municipality's right to enforce its camping ban in parks, though he would have given the demonstrators more time to comply with the order.

"Two hours, in my opinion, would have been nice if you had given them further notice," he said. "I'm not going to tell the city what they should do, what I'm saying is that I would have given them more notice."

The decision to enforce the municipal parks bylaw was made by regional council in a private session last Tuesday. Halifax police Chief Frank Beazley decided when to execute the eviction order.

Beazley said Remembrance Day was the safest time to act because it was a holiday with few people on the streets. He said giving the protesters more notice would only have made matters worse.

Some councillors said they're getting an earful from constituents who are angry about the timing of the shutdown.

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