Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Richard, We Have A Problem....

Tonight the Princess and I took a drive out to North Rustico Harbour for some fine food at the Blue Mussel Cafe and afterwards I was going to take a drive on the beach next to Court Bros. Deep Sea Fishing.... but I was afraid one of those nasty "conservation officers" might be around the corner packing their guns and handing out tickets to the hundreds of people who drive on this beach everyday... in fact there is even a "beach parking sign" where you enter the beach encouraging people to park on the beach... at least the Tourists who support our local economy could plead "innocent" based on the signage but that wouldn't mean a hill of beans to those boys on the 4th floor of the Jones Building... now I'm all for keeping non commercial vehicles off the beaches but why don't we give out some "warning tickets" before we actually proceed with a ticket and a fine... and why on this Gentle Island do our conservation officers have to be "packing guns".... Houston, We Have A Problem...
Beach parking tickets anger western Islanders
Friday, July 31, 2009
CBC News
P.E.I. conservation officers are cracking down on the common, but illegal, practice of driving on the beaches in West Prince.
Officer Wade Mackinnon told CBC News Thursday people driving their cars and ATVs on the beaches has been a problem for years.
"In West Prince it seems to be more of an issue," Mackinnon said. "People seem to think they have the right to be out here. It's been a family activity that they've enjoyed for years and years and years."
But driving on beaches is illegal, a law put in place to protect sand dunes and endangered species. Last year the eight conservation officers handed out 24 tickets. With peak beach season here again, they are back patrolling the beaches.
"We're getting complaints from conservation groups; we're getting complaints from cottage owners," Mackinnon said.
'I knew nothing about the rules'
Some people who are having years of family tradition disrupted are complaining as well.
"We were simply sitting here, watching our grandchildren, so I still don't know what we've really done wrong," said Paula Gavin.
Gavin and her family are from Christopher Cross, north of Tignish. Her husband, son and daughter were fined a total of $620 for driving on Phee Beach, something her family had been doing for 50 years. She said she never had any idea what she was doing was against the law.
"I have never read it anywhere; I have never seen a sign; I knew nothing about the rules and regulations of the beach," Gavin said.
Mackinnon said signs have been put up, but are usually torn down immediately. He said people should know by now it's against the law.
But Gavin says more needs to be done to tell people. And now a 50-year family tradition has been ruined. The Gavins have not been back to Phee Beach since they were fined.

No comments: