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Detachment commander concerned about trespassing on First Nations land

Interim boss at Southern Georgian Bay OPP also 'dismayed' by the number of liquor-related incidents on the water recently
DO NOT USE OPP-Police-Boat
File photo

Summertime weather is finally here now and with that unfortunately brings reports of impaired boating, liquor offences and trespassing on closed area First Nation Lands.

As a resident and the interim detachment commander of the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment, I am dismayed by my observations while on the waters of Georgian Bay of marine-based, liquor-related incidents.

Marine unit officers have investigated two impaired boating incidents already this week and with the current summer weather conditions vessel operators in the interest of public safety are going to have to take more ownership for their actions in an effort to reduce the possible incident of injury or death to themselves and others.

Secondly, our neighbours of the Beausoleil First Nation who own and have jurisdiction over Christian, Beckwith and Hope islands are seeking co-operation from the public as they work through their pandemic plans which currently have the islands completely closed to non-residents.

This means that boaters are not welcome to come ashore any of these islands by order of Chief and Council of Beausoleil First Nation. Those who trespass onto their lands could be arrested and will be charged accordingly and escorted off.

Officers from detachment will be assisting members of the Beausoleil First Nations and Anishinabek Police Service in completing this enforcement.

I have added extra staff to the detachment marine unit to respond to the increased incidence of impaired boating, liquor violations and to assist Beausoleil First Nation and I urge all waterway users this summer to enjoy what Georgian Bay has to offer, but to be respectful to the laws that protect public safety and also those that protect land rights as well.

Safe boating is a shared responsibility and if we all do our part it can be the memorable experience it is meant to be.