The too high popularity of the chutes Dorwin, Rawdon has triggered the anger of a part of the population of the region.
June 28, 2020 16h28
Updated at 17h01
The influx of tourists is of concern to cities outside of Montreal
The Canadian Press
The recovery of the tourist activity is received with a certain apprehension, especially in the small towns outside of Montreal, which was the epicenter of the pandemic COVID-19 in the province.
If many of these municipalities welcome the boost in economic, brought by the visitors of summer, some residents fear that an influx of tourists will not put them in danger.
Thus, a petition was launched on June 21, urges the authorities of the regional county municipality of Matawinie, in the Lanaudière region, to give priority to the needs of residents at the expense of the tourists coming from the outside.
More than 8000 people have signed the petition that denounces those would have taken the region “hostage”.
It is the too high popularity of the chutes Dorwin, Rawdon, which has triggered the anger of a part of the population of the region.
The mayor of Rawdon, Bruno Guilbault, did not recall such a phenomenon.
The city parks on the banks of the Ouareau river “swelled” the last weekend of tourists from outside the region. The crowd was twice its usual size, ” said Mr. Guilbeault. Even when the authorities have installed signs indicating that parks were filled up to the maximum of their ability, the people have not turned back.
Many of these visitors have parked their cars on the lawns of residents, or near the banks. Large groups of people were gathered at various locations.
“I’m 60 years old. I am a native of Rawdon. I rarely – rarely – seen something similar,” he says.
This heavy attendance prompted the city to close the parc des chutes Dorwin, the park of the Waterfalls and a municipal beach to non-residents until June 30 to give him the time to put in place a better system to ensure that all are able to maintain a physical distance to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
“The decision was pretty easy to take. We had no choice,” said Mr. Guilbault.
The number of cases of COVID-19 and deaths related to the pandemic has recently fallen at Quebec. If the director of the Québec public health, Horacio Arruda, said on Thursday that these cuts were good news for the province, it urged the population to comply with the measures of distance-physical to avoid a second wave. “It is still necessary to be careful”, he launched.
But for the majority of Quebecers are unable to travel outside of the province because of the pandemic, the local tourist attractions become more attractive.
The spokesperson of the Sépaq, Simon Boivin, mentions that many people have expressed a “strong interest” to visit provincial parks this year.
“I’m 60 years old. I am a native of Rawdon. I rarely – rarely – seen something similar ”
The mayor of Rawdon, Bruno Guilbault, about the influx of tourists in the municipality
Approximately 140 000 annual passes for the 24 parks outside of the Sépaq were sold in three days this week, he says.
According to him, the number of reservations for the camping places of the end of June to the end of October jumped 11% compared to last year.
“The summer is always a busy period for the network of the Sépaq, but we do think it is more popular this year,” said Mr. Boivin.
The provincial parks have published online a list of guidelines that people must follow to minimize the risk of the spread of the COVID-19.
The information centers and other common areas within the parks have the physical markers of distance, and some trails have also been equipped with panels allowing hikers to know if the trails are one-way or two-way.
According to the ministry of Tourism, it is the responsibility of the police to ensure that public health rules are followed. Municipalities can also take measures to handle an influx of tourists.
“We are confident that visitors will be encouraged to act to ensure their safety and the safety of places where they will spend their vacation,” said a spokesman for the ministry, Virginia Break away, in an email.
With regard to the situation in Rawdon, Mr. Guilbault stated that the parks and the city beach will re-open to non-residents at 10 a.m. on June 30.
Guards, additional security will be in place and the city has installed signage prohibiting the parking lot.
Mr. Guilbault is convinced that things will be better and the fears of a hostage taking in the region will occur not. “We don’t want any more outbursts”.