A family relaxes on White Rock’s beach Thursday afternoon. The city did not have an influx of visitors over the weekend. (Aaron Hinks photo)

A family relaxes on White Rock’s beach Thursday afternoon. The city did not have an influx of visitors over the weekend. (Aaron Hinks photo)

No long weekend influx of visitors to White Rock

Victoria Day weekend ‘tame’ according to police, city staff

Whether it was the rain – or messaging from the City of White Rock – that prevented a large influx of visitors to the city’s waterfront over the Victoria Day long weekend is not clear.

Whatever the case, city council heard in reports from new chief administrative officer Guillermo Ferrero, RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls, and engineering and municipal operations director Jim Gordon that anticipated public gatherings – and major infractions of pandemic physical distancing policy – failed to materialize between May 16 and May 18.

Biggest concern according to Gordon, and Coun. Scott Kristjanson, was the breaching of the temporary security fence blocking off the promenade east of Cypress Street on East Beach on Sunday, although this was repaired, and more thoroughly locked up, within a few hours.

Anticipating a potential invasion of fair-weather visitors, council had last week authorized $10,000 in overtime to guarantee a greater police presence at the waterfront, but Pauls told council at Tuesday night’s meeting that events on Marine Drive turned out to be low-key.

READ ALSO: ‘White Rock is closed to visitors this weekend’ – city council

“From the RCMP perspective (the) weekend was fairly tame, I guess,” he said. “We issued about 15 violation tickets on Marine Drive for various offences, mostly speeding, but fail to yield to pedestrian was another one.

“Typically throughout the weekdays and weekends we have people who are jumping the fences and that perimeter and they are dealt with by the (RCMP) members or by bylaw (enforcement staff),” he added. “There were no huge issues on the weekend that I’m aware of.”

“People can climb the fence, or they can walk down the railway (tracks); they can climb the railway fence,” Gordon commented.

“But what I noticed is, especially on Monday, people who did it, didn’t stay. For some reason they walked through the area and left. I was more concerned, in the weeks preceding, when people set up on the picnic benches. I think Sunday morning there was one group that did that, but the bylaw officers escorted them out and we did some more locking of the gates.”

READ ALSO: White Rock mayor urges caution around relaxation of pandemic measures

Kristjanson said residents had reported the gates had “been opened by somebody” and that people were walking on the promenade east of Cypress Street for some four hours on Sunday.

“Sunday morning, I think around 10 a.m., somebody broke the fance open and left it open,” Gordon confirmed. “We got someone out there around 2 ’o clock – as soon as we heard about it, we went out there. I think there may have been eight or 10 people in there, including the two at the picnic bench.

“What really concerned me is that when they left the fence open, there were older people who went in there, and we had to make sure we got them out before we chained it up – people that maybe couldn’t climb a fence.

“Other people go in there, but they don’t seem to stay long.”

Ferrero told council that the city welcomes any reports from the public of similar infractions of COVID-19 measures.

“You can always call our public works department and report it and we’ll make sure it’s corrected.”

Friday (May 22), Pauls contacted Peace Arch News to advise that the additional $10,000 that was authorized by council f0r overtime was not used. While additional officers were on shift on Marine Drive for the weekend, “the cost was much less than $10,000 and we will not be billing the City to take them up on their supportive financial stance for enhanced public safety on the weekend,” he told PAN by email.

“Continued enhanced enforcement throughout the summer will also be taken from our existing budget,” Pauls added.



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

White Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

Signage on a South Surrey sidewalk reminds pedestrians to respect social-distancing guidelines. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey records 4,400 COVID-19 cases in March

New cases almost doubled between February, March

The Rotary Club of South Surrey is planning to host another shredding event on April 17, 2021.(Contributed file photo)
South Surrey Rotarians to host shredding event

April 17 fundraiser to offer secure shredding by donation

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
1 taken to hospital after plane crash at Metro Vancouver airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Most Read