Sylvan Lake RCMP overwhelmed by Saturday’s crowded waterfront

“The sheer number of people at the beach is an indication that enforcement is not the solution.”

Sylvan Lake RCMP say they were overwhelmed by the number of people who were non-compliant with the Public Health Act on Saturday.

In a press release sent out by the local RCMP, they say they chose to focus their efforts on other “priority community safety concerns.” These concerns include drinking offences and driving offences.

“A decision had to be made in terms of the most effective use of the RCMP resources,” the press release states.

When faced with the huge crowd of people along the Sylvan Lake waterfront, Sylvan Lake RCMP were overwhelmed by the sheer number of those not in compliance with the public order.

READ MORE: Crowds in Sylvan Lake “commonplace” during summer months

It was an “implausible task” for local members to begin educating and enforcing the public health order.

As such, no enforcement tickets were issued for breach of the order, the press release states.

“The sheer number of people at the beach is an indication that enforcement is not the solution.”

An enforcement ticket for breach of the Public Health Order is $1,200.

“…The thousands of Albertans who demonstrated a disappointing disrespect for the Order put themselves and the citizens of the community of Sylvan Lake at risk,” the press release says.

Sylvan Lake RCMP say public safety is their number one priority and are committed to working with Alberta Health Services to ensure public safety.

The Province has lifted some of the restrictions around gathering size. Currently outdoor gatherings are allowed up to 200 people. Families are also able to socialize with up to 15 other families, or cohorts.

Physical distancing of two meters between households or cohorts should remain in place.

Currently only RCMP officers and members of AHS are able to give non-compliance tickets for breach of the Public Health Order.

The Town of Sylvan Lake says the number of people at the beach on July 11 was near or at capacity.

The waterfront area in Sylvan Lake was not the only place to see overcrowding over the weekend. Many other popular destinations, such as Alberta Beach, Gull Lake and Lake Louise were busy on the warm summer weekend.

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