An RCMP investigation has identified a Boundary individual suspected of organizing a large outdoor gathering over the long weekend.
Midway RCMP saw “upwards of 200 persons camping on Crown land” near Rock Creek’s Hulme Creek Road on Saturday, May 22, according to a news release by Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. Mounties reportedly saw campers mingling in small groups outside tents, which he said didn’t violate COVID-19 restrictions at the time.
Investigating officers ticketed three people at the scene under the Emergency Programs Act. Each person was fined $230 for allegedly attending a social gathering that violated public health orders.
The unnamed organizer will not be fined, O’Donaghey continued. Midway RCMP has instead decided to take “an educational approach” involving a conflict resolution process between the organizer and “others directly involved.”
B.C. campgrounds had agreed to refuse reservations from people travelling beyond their respective health areas. Police meanwhile conducted roadblocks at various checkpoints across the province in a bid to clamp down on non-essential travel across health areas.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry asked British Columbians in mid-April not to plan vacations until after the May long weekend.
Midway RCMP’s detachment commander, Cpl. Phil Peters, was unavailable for comment Thursday, May 27.
— With files from Tom Fletcher