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Human waste in Wascana Park: PCC says it’s working on alternative washrooms

The presence of human waste and other unhygienic litter around locked bathrooms in public spaces has become an unfortunate consequence of coronavirus safety measures, including in Regina's Wascana Park. Dave Parsons / Global News

The presence of human waste and other unhygienic litter around locked bathrooms in public spaces has become an unfortunate consequence of coronavirus safety measures, including in Regina’s Wascana Park.

Public washrooms around Wascana Centre remain closed due to COVID-19 and will be reopened in Phase 4 of the reopen Saskatchewan plan.

The Provincial Capital Commission (PCC) said it is working with the city and the University of Regina in the meantime to provide safe and inclusive facilities for park-goers.

READ MORE: Regina Beach residents say lack of public washrooms leading to ‘human waste’ along walking paths

The PCC said it is also in the midst of developing cleaning schedules and other safety protocols for park facilities to ensure all washrooms have an ample supply of soap, sanitizing materials, and appropriate signage before they reopen.

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It’s a similar development that happened at the town of Regina Beach, located about 60 kilometres northwest of Regina. Residents there say a lack of public facilities have led to human waste, tampons and dirty diapers being left along walking paths.

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Denny Joyal, the managing partner of the Waterfront Beach Bar and Grill, told Global News that despite the beach closure, groups of people have been coming to the lake to enjoy the warmer weather and are resorting to other options of relieving themselves.

“Where my anxiety comes in is that when we reopen on (June 8), with no public facilities at the lake, we by de facto become the public washroom for Last Mountain Lake, which is not something we’re set up or prepared for,” Joyal said.

In an email statement Monday, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport said both RCMP and conservation officers are conducting “periodic checks of the site to educate about mandatory public health orders.”

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Pandemic highlights need for more public toilets, experts say

“As per the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan, the Service Centre, being a shared facility, needs to remain closed until further notice … at this time, beaches are closed and we are asking for cooperation from the public in respecting the rules and these public spaces,” the statement read.

“What we really need is someone from the parks department to either open up those washrooms and make them available, or do a better job of enforcing the closure of the beach,” Joyal said.

There is no official date for Phase 4 of the reopen Saskatchewan plan to begin.

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