B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)

Princeton-area cabin owners consider defying travel ban

‘I’m planning to go up. If anyone doesn’t like it I invite them to stay out of my yard’

It remains to be seen how effective a new provincial health order forbidding non-essential travel will be in stopping the spread of COVID.

The order went into place Friday, April 23, and will continue until May 25.

Related: 96 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Travel between three areas of the province, based on health authority regions, is restricted and violations could result in a fine of $575.

Further, abusive or belligerent behaviour related to the order is punishable by a $230 ticket.

“Our objective is still seeking voluntary compliance and education,” said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes in an interview with the Spotlight.

Tickets here may be issued “if certain conditions are met,” he added.

In the Princeton area specifically, there will be no road side checks at this time, however Hughes said “that could change at any minute.”

People may travel between the Interior Health Authority and the Northern Health Authority, but the order effectively blocks travel from the Lower Mainland to the Similkameen.

Related: B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

The move has created consternation and considerable debate among some people who live outside the area but have seasonal homes in rural Princeton and Tulameen.

In answer to a question from the Spotlight posted to a public Facebook group, Tony Cook wrote: “I’m planning to go up. If anyone doesn’t like it I invite them to stay out of my yard.”

Andrea Derkoch Smyrski is also planning to visit her property. “We are coming. We need to care (for) and maintain our place. But like all before us we will stick to our place and bring all of our stuff with us. We are not coming to party. I would not call it a vacation either. We will keep you safe Tulameen, by doing our part.”

Victoria Anderson Manz feels she can make her own choices. “I don’t make any stops, bring with me what I need. If people in town pop over while I’m there, I’m happy to see them. Three of my family members are tested weekly for their jobs. I’m safe. I’m an adult, I’m a reasonable person who can make a call on whether I need to stay home.”

Only an emergency would tempt Sharen Rogers to travel. “(We) will abide by the rules – will only visit the cabin prior to May 24 (for now) unless we are subject to flooding.”

Tami Rose hopes those with rental properties have cancelled reservations. “It’s one thing as a homeowner to come up, stay in your yard and do maintenance, but hopefully any cabin owners that had rentals booked for the next five weeks have cancelled them. Unfortunately it’s those rental people that might disrespect the rules more so than regulars here.”

Hughes acknowledged the Facebook comments. “Any perusal of social media shows there is a core group of people who refuse to abide by the rules. If you choose to be one of those people you may be subject to a $575 fine.”

Related: ‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

Area H director Bob Coyne is keeping an eye on the situation, but admits he has no control.

“If people want to disregard provincial health orders and the premier that’s way above my pay grade,” he said.

“Some people are following the orders of Dr. Bonnie Henry and others aren’t…I think people are tired and they just don’t know how to deal with it anymore. They are reacting differently than they possibly would have in normal times.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com


 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Maple Ridge city hall (The News files)
Maple Ridge turns to public for consultation on transportation plan

Mayor encourages all residents to participate in ‘important engagement process’

Ethan Page, left, and Nicky Walton received Excellence in Arts Scholarship Awards in music. (Special to The News)
Port Haney Artist-in-Residence Aaron Moran. (Special to the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News)
Personal reflections of Maple Ridge are needed for new public art project

Residents of all ages, backgrounds and abilities welcome to share stories and poems

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maple Ridge elementary school exposed to COVID-19

Exposure event at Glenwood elementary the seventh in past two weeks

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Upset by being called an ‘idiot’

Maple Ridge writer disagrees with majority on COVID safety protocols and their impacts

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read