LETTER:Shutting off beaches “Bureaucratic Overkill

Prince Edward County staff have pinpointed the locations of all of the Lake Ontario ‘secret beaches” on the west side of the County.

One quick look at the County ‘Summer Hub’ app provides clear directions to these beautiful beach locations. Hundreds of no parking signs detailing $400 fines now line the roads to these locations and prevent the average local from any Lake Ontario beach access whatsoever. Council and staff have forever shut all summer access to the waterfront other than the less desirable Wellington Beach or for those lucky enough to have a boat. Locals have been using these secret beaches for decades without any rules, regulations, oversight, or facilities whatsoever.

Shutting all access to these beaches is a massive bureaucratic overkill and overreach created to manage the pandemic day-trippers that were turned away from Sandbanks last summer and approved by Council with minimal resident input.

Perhaps it is time to finally look at improving the experience at the ‘secret beaches’ and in the process generate some revenue with a minimal parking fee to pay for basic first world facilities at these locations. A few yards of gravel for larger parking pads and level dry access to the sand, porta-pottys and garbage cans would bring the experience from a third world condition into a condition befitting a modern rich country like Canada.

The “Summer Hub’ app has unwittingly brought these unimproved beaches into the greater public realm, and it is now time to give locals and visitors the opportunity to access these beaches outfitted with basic modern amenities providing a safe, clean and sanitary experience. Is really the right of our Council to deny access the waterfront for those not lucky enough to live on the water, or have a boat?

Now is the time to ask them as we approach the 2022 election.

Regards,

Ian Ross