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LETTER: Sointula resident challenges RDMW over Bere Point Campground management

Bere Point Campground on Malcolm Island is a Regional Park run by the RDMW.

Dear editor,

The Regional District of Mount Waddington seems to have a unique perspective on adhering to provincial COVID-19 guidelines.

Bere Point Campground on Malcolm Island is a regional park run by the Regional Disrtrict of Mount Waddington (RDMW). After noticing some Bere Point campers sporting out-of-province licence plates I emailed the RDMW’s Chief Administrative Officer Greg Fletcher (June 11th) to enquire whether or not the RDMW was adhering to the guidelines set out by Minister of Health Adrian Dix in regards to BC provincial campgrounds accepting BC residents only.

Mr. Fletcher assured me that the RDMW was following the BC guidelines and included some Dr. Henry quotes regarding the health benefits and relative safety of spending time outdoors. He ended his email response by suggesting there were two trains of thought on our island; those who welcome visitors because they help our small businesses survive and those who don’t want visitors. According to Mr. Fletcher I belong in the latter category.

I felt compelled to respond as I am pro-tourist. I also argued the efficacy of the outdoor-activities-are-healthy-and-safe notion given the Bere Point campers may want food from our five-at-a-time Co-op grocery store or gas from our two-at-a-time gas bar or a meal at Coho Joe or the Upper Crust Bakery.

On June 23 I double-checked the BC Parks and BC’s response to Covid-19 websites and found the guidelines quite clearly promote BC-residents only camping. “Non-BC residents with existing reservations should request a refund. Any reservations made by non-BC residents after May 25, 2020 will be cancelled without refund.”

The RDMW accepts/promotes Canada-wide reservations on its website.

Fred Middleton,