Human waste found in Wascana Park, Regina Beach leads to concern from residents
REGINA -- Human waste including excrement, used toilet paper, wipes and soiled socks can be found in the bushes and near the locked bathrooms in Regina’s Wascana Park. Public washrooms in the park and in nearby centres are currently closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“I think its not proper. They’re opening stuff up but this is very important, it should be opened,” said Henri Levesque, a resident of Regina who walks Wascana Park daily.
Other residents also voiced their concern.
“I think (going in the park) is a bad idea. I mean you wouldn’t do that at your friends house. You probably shouldn’t be doing that, just hold it or strategically go to the bathroom,” added one young man.
“In this park, in this city, I think it’s very wrong, if you’re on the farm I think it’s okay but this is an entirely different scenario,” said another resident.
Levesque uses the park to get the exercise he needs. He recently underwent prostate surgery and says its difficult to find a nearby bathroom in the park. He calls it an issue of public access but also public health.
“It’s very difficult. I have to hold it and I need to go to the bathroom. I can’t make the whole round around Wascana Lake without going and I come here everyday. I think the (human waste) is gross, I think they should open the bathrooms for people to use,” said Levesque
A similar incident with visitors leaving their human waste in bushes is also happening in Regina Beach near the boat launch. The provincial park’s bathroom and showers is closed however there is an outhouse near the boat launch.
“We did improve the signage for the bathroom facilities. We are opening slowly and methodically and when we get permission to do so we will certainly move forward,” said Dan French, executive director of Park Operations, Sask. Parks. “Obviously we can’t get the attention of 100 per cent of the people and we’re still relying on (Regina Beach) folks to help us out as well and to ensure the rules are followed.”
There is no set date as to when public bathrooms in provincial and municipal parks will be opened again. In a statement to CTV News Regina, the Provincial Capital Commission which oversees Wascana Park says park washrooms will be opened in phase four of the government’s Re-Open Saskatchewan plan and will be done under the advice of the province’s Chief Medical Health Officer.
“The PCC is committed in working with its partners including the City of Regina and the University of Regina on providing all patrons of Wascana Centre a space that is safe, healthy and inclusive. The PCC is in the midst of developing cleaning schedules and other safety protocols for these facilities to ensure all washrooms have an ample supply of soap, sanitizing materials and appropriate signage before (bathrooms) can re-open.”
Levesque says he is open to having the bathroom facilities opened in Wascana Park as long as there is appropriate cleaning and sanitizing measures in place.
“I’m very thankful for the park, its a good place to get exercise, its a beauty and I meet so many great people here. If I don’t come here, I feel like I am missing out on something.”