The Cap St. Jacques Beach on the West Island is once again a popular destination for Montrealers looking to escape the heat, but the beach is still closed without lifeguards or much police patrol, which Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Jim Beis says is a serious issue.
“Since that is happening and we know that will happen we need resources in place,” said Beis.
On Saturday, hundreds of beachgoers visited the popular west island beach even though it’s still closed and without lifeguards. Video shows people dancing, drinking and ignoring social distance measures.
Beis says it was the same problem last year yet no plan has been adopted by the city of Montreal to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“We certainly don’t want to close the park. It isn’t our jurisdiction, it is managed by the city of Montreal,” said Beis.
“However, there hasn’t been any action on their part since last year when we initially raised the flag and said look, there are potential issues here.”
The Pierrefonds mayor says he’s looking for better safeguards to be put in place, even if it’s just extra security, to remind visitors to practice social distancing.
In a statement to Global News, the city says several measures have already been put in place at the beach to ensure everyone’s safety.
“The park is receiving support from Station 3 of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM). Cadets will also be present from next week to support employees, ensure safety and respect for health measures, in particular physical distancing,” reads the email.
But Beis says despite a good relationship with Montreal police, it is a short-term solution.
“The goal is how can we have a safe environment with everyone included to be able to enjoy this beautiful surrounding like we have here.”
According to the city, there is a 1,000 person limit for Cap St. Jacques beach and, despite the large crowds over the weekend, there were no incidents and no interventions were needed.