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Coquitlam mayor: strict provincial parks rules possibly causing people to flood smaller communities

Last Updated Aug 5, 2020 at 1:21 am PDT

File photo: Buntzen Lake in Coquitlam. (Kayla Butler, NEWS 1130, Photo)

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — After crowds of people swarmed local parks and community sites, the Coquitlam mayor is raising concerns over strict rules in place at provincial parks.

Mayor Richard Stewart tells NEWS 1130, restrictions on provincial parks might be the reason people are being pushed to swarm smaller community parks.

“This is an unusual year. We’ve got a lot of people that really want to get out and explore their parks more than they have in the past. And if some of them are clamped down or restricted in access, they’ll end up in other parks and most of those are municipal parks and we can’t restrict access to those,” he said. “So it tends to make our community less safe, rather than more safe.”

Stewart says if the rules were relaxed a bit or capacity limits were lowered, it could prevent the waves of visitors from flooding.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a challenge yet, but there are more visitors to our parks.”

According to Stewart, the city has dedicated a soccer field to picnic tables for families trying to get out.

Stewart hopes the province, the regional government, BC Hydro and municipalities will work together “so that we don’t unduly restrict access to one or two of the really important facilities that conserve a lot of people.”