Wild Camping: the gaspesian beaches soiled by the campers

Camping sauvage: les plages gaspésiennes souillées par les campeurs

Camping sauvage: les plages gaspésiennes souillées par les campeurs

The complaints multiply to the Gaspé regarding the rubbish left on the beaches by the campers.


16 July 2020 17: 20


Wild Camping: the gaspesian beaches soiled by the campers

Camping sauvage: les plages gaspésiennes souillées par les campeurs

Camping sauvage: les plages gaspésiennes souillées par les campeurs

Simon Carmichael

Initiative of journalism-local – The Sun

Everywhere on the gaspé coast, towns and villages make the same observation: campers wild are more harmful. Littering, disrespect of the premises and use of vehicles on fragile environments annoy the local residents. They are more many to file complaints to the municipal authorities, who are limited to act because the beaches are a provincial responsibility.

The mayor of Gaspé, Daniel Côté, reports a marked increase in the number of complaints, particularly since the beginning of the déconfinement. “Each year, we have a few reports, but this summer, it’s really vicious,” says Mr. Côté, who claims to have personally received dozens of messages, just as his colleagues on the city council. “We will not be able to endure it year after year,” he adds.

The complaints relate in particular to the waste left on the beaches as well as the use of vehicles on these ecosystems particularly sensitive. “Environments hyper fragile. A vehicle that rolls may destroy flora, and to promote the sliding of the beach. In the long term, it could cause an ecological disaster, for example the disappearance of the beach” laments the mayor.

The latter is also concerned that some campers are not equipped with sanitation facilities needed. “We find waste, we find feces, and pollutants. Not only that, because of the inconvenience obvious, but it is also very bad for the environment,” he explains.

Side Pierced also, we can note a sharp increase in negative consequences related to camping wild, even if the city has a regulation to this effect for years. “It’s been a long time that it is forbidden to be Pierced, but it was still a few holdouts. This year, it is of particular concern,” notes the mayor, Cathy Poirier.

A few weeks ago, the city had to ask the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) to make patrols to ensure that the regulation is respected. The municipality has decided to advocate for the awareness, but has still had to deliver some tickets to some of the campers who refused to leave the premises.

Québec responsible for beaches

At the beginning of the summer, the Town of Gaspé had announced the intention to legislate to ban wild camping on the grounds of the municipality, as well as on the nearby beaches. The city council had made a volte-face a few days later, excluding the beaches in the regulation, in particular as these are of provincial jurisdiction, the city cannot, therefore, legislate about them.

“Each year, we have a few reports, but this summer it really is hell ”

Daniel Côté, mayor of Gaspé

Following this setback, Mr. Côté has asked Quebec to enforce the regulations without having a real answer. “It really turns round and round and round”, he laments. The mayor, who is also vice-president of the Union of municipalities of Quebec, said to be open to see Quebec transfer this responsibility to the cities, in as much as the provincial government covers the costs. “If we give this power to the municipalities, it must also give them the means to enforce it”, he explains.

Concerted action

Daniel Côté, who is also the prefect of the MRC of la Côte-de-Gaspé, believes that it will take concerted action by the elected officials of the region to put pressure on Quebec to apply its own laws on the beaches. “It is a problem that is widespread, everywhere in the Gaspé peninsula. It’s going to take a mobilization to demand that something happens,” he says. The table of prefects of the Gaspé peninsula plancherait on a solution to standardize the regulations and demands of the different municipalities in gaspé.

Mr. smith hopes to be able to solve the problem for the summer season next, prioritizing outreach for this summer.

Le Soleil

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