Sauble Beach closed, mayor hopes to keep visitors from GTA away

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How to plan a summer vacation close to home – Jun 7, 2020

All of the beaches in South Bruce Peninsula including Sauble Beach have been closed, according to Mayor Janice Jackson.

In a Facebook post, she said that council made the decision after “people witnessed the recklessness of beachgoers over the last 2 weekends.”

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Jackson absolved local residents of any blame, saying that day-trippers were to blame while appearing to point a finger at those from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

“Only one other weekend did I receive that many complaints, but this year, the situation was exacerbated by the tiny beach we have,” she wrote.

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Jackson says council is troubled by the idea that her community will be overrun by people from the Toronto area over the coming holiday.

“Our community has remained relatively virus free and we want to remain that way,” she wrote. “The ripple effect of having so many visitors from the epicentre of Ontario’s COVID hotbed could create ramifications for our entire town.”

Jackson says her community could see as many as 60,000 visitors over the July 1 holiday. With six bylaw officers, it needs help.

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“In addition to our challenges, we had little to no help from the overtaxed OPP,” she wrote. “They are short officers and often can’t respond at all.”

Council will push the province for assistance, and when it does arrive, she says the beaches will reopen.

“The sooner we can get assistance, the sooner we can open the beach,” Jackson wrote. “We know this won’t be a popular decision for many, and it was a very tough decision to make but we stand by it.”