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Politicians react to death of Victoria protester Ashlie Gough at Occupy Vancouver protest

Nov 07 2011

VANCOUVER — Mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton paid a visit to Occupy Vancouver Sunday morning, a day after a young Victoria woman died at the camp.

After speaking briefly with reporters, Anton stopped to look at a vigil erected at the southeast corner of the plaza, acknowledging the young woman who died Saturday.

The young woman was identified Sunday by the B.C. CoronerS service as 23-year-old Ashlie Gough.

Gough arrived in Vancouver late last week, said coroner Owen Court. Her next of kin have been notified.

At around 10:30 a.m., a few visibly emotional visitors paid their respects at the vigil—a small cross, surrounded by lit candles. A Vancouver police officer prevented media from questioning the grieving visitors, one of whom the officer identified as Gough’s stepfather.

A few of the occupiers heckled Anton, the NPA mayoral candidate, who spent roughly 15 minutes at the site.

The NPA candidate said she came down to offer condolences to those who knew the young lady.

City officials have been circulating a notice since Friday, informing occupiers that the camp is in violation of a city bylaw.

Though the bylaw has been in effect throughout the occupation, the city has been resistant to enforce it.

Mayor Gregor Robertson said earlier this weekend that in light of the death on Saturday, and another medical emergency that took place last week, that the camp has to come down, but he hasn’t set a time frame or plan of action.

“The tents need to come down,” Anton told reporters at the site, repeating her concerns about camp sanitation and safety. “I think people are asking, what more does it take? Now, Gregor [Robertson] is now talking about an injunction, I’m a lawyer, an injunction is good, but he still hasn’t said what he’d do following an injunction.”

An announcement about the continued occupation by city manager Penny Ballem was expected later Sunday.

eduggan@vancouversun.com