'You didn't feel safe': Debate continues over Sask. May Long alcohol ban
Published Tuesday, May 21, 2019 5:00PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:20PM CST
Judith and Henry Enns are long time campers at Echo Valley Provincial Park. They said camping during the Victoria Day long weekend has been good ever since the government banned alcohol in the parks during the weekend.
"You didn’t feel safe. They were breaking picnic tables and things like that," Judith said.
Judith and her husband hope the government keeps the ban in place for the years to come.
"I don’t think it should be lifted, I think it's a good thing,” she said. “Well there are lots of families, you know little kids, and they want to be free to run around too and if there's drinking sometimes there's a lot of traffic and partying going on and that."
In 2006, after years of rowdy partying during the May long weekend, the government of Saskatchewan banned alcohol in provincial parks for the weekend. During the Victoria Day weekend in 2005, officers in Emma Lake jailed 50 people.
In the Duck Mountain, the RCMP didn't have enough cells for all the arrests and in the Battlefords Provincial Park, a group of individuals threw an RCMP officer into the lake.
“We will be using the provincial conservation officers with back up from RCMP,” Environment Minister at the time John Nilson said following the introduction of the ban. “We think that the public we be quite co-operative."
On May 16, the Government of Alberta announced it would life the ban on alcohol for May long weekend in its provincial parks. Manitoba lifted its ban in 2018.
The Government of Saskatchewan said it’s not lifting the ban at the moment, but said it will look at how things go in Alberta lifting its ban.
“Like all policies we look at periodically so this one is no different,” said Dan French, executive director of Park Operations for Saskatchewan Provincial Parks. “This one is no different. We will look at it as we move forward in the future but at the moment there is no plan to lift the ban as of course we just went through the May long weekend and we will be looking at it in the future.”