Shoreline towns seeking 'beach closure' continuity
WINGHAM, ONT. -- Hanging out at the beach in southwestern Ontario may not be an option, even when the stay-at-home order is expected to end on May 20.
Mayors stretching along the shores of Lake Huron and beyond are discussing 'shoreline-wide' beach closures, possibly before the end of the month.
“I think this encompasses right from Elgin County and Lake Erie, right up along Lake Huron to Georgian Bay. The purpose of the discussions would be to have a collaborative approach on the best way to keep our residents safe from the variants, until we’re able to achieve herd immunity,” says Huron County Warden Glen McNeil.
Huron County is leading discussions among Ontario’s shoreline towns to have a unified approach to opening or keeping all beaches closed, before the stay-at-home order ends in three weeks' time.
“It is very problematic if one beach is closed then visitors will go to another beach and overwhelm that, so we want to have a collaborative approach, what ever that best approach may be,” says McNeil.
But you can count Sauble Beach out of the shoreline beach shutdown. South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson says its 10-day shutdown last summer was enough.
“I don’t think we’d be interested in a unified shoreline approach, and I’m only saying that because we put our people through the ringer last year to set that mark and it worked, and I think it’s unnecessary to do that a second time,” she says.
Nothing has been finalized yet, however McNeil says the intended plan would be to keep beaches and boardwalks open for exercise, but keep them closed to people wanting to drop their towels and soak in some sun and sand for the day.
“We encourage all residents to exercise, use our boardwalks, that type of thing. What we’re going to discuss is, what is the best way to address the congregation on the beach situation, because people tend to get together that way,” says McNeil.
In Sauble Beach, they intend to have the beach ready for visitors, once the stay-at-home order ends on May 20.
“We anticipate having everything wide open at Sauble Beach, and we anticipate a great effort from everybody to make sure that everybody does the right things, stays safety apart, and enjoys the great outdoors, because we all need to look forward to something,” says Jackson.