While sports courts in the Regional District of Nanaimo have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are defying the order at Cedar Skate Park, says Tom Osborne, RDN general manager of recreation and parks. (Chris Bush/Nanaimo News Bulletin)

Security posted to deal with COVID-19-defying skateboarders near Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo official says barriers in place, but more measures may be needed

Officials have called in extra security to deal with defiant skateboarders at a Nanaimo-area skatepark.

The Regional District of Nanaimo closed all sports courts and playgrounds in its parks indefinitely in late March to prevent the spread of coronavirus. According to Tom Osborne, general manager of recreation and parks, most people are respecting COVID-19 rules and steering clear.

The only exception is the Cedar Skate Park.

“We’ve had to hire security guards on site,” Osborne said. “Barriers have been put in place and even with those measures it continues to be a challenge, so we are looking to what other operators of skateboard parks are doing to discourage use and we’ll be rolling those out in the coming days as we move that forward.”

RELATED: Island Health region sees 92 COVID-19 cases as of April 15

RELATED: City of Nanaimo closes rec centres, pools, arenas

READ ALSO: RDN launches virtual rec portal during COVID-19 crisis

In an e-mail, Osborne told the News Bulletin this could include the use of sand.

“Other jurisdictions with skate parks have had to place large volumes of sand on skate parks to prevent them from being used,” Osborne said. “At this time a security firm has been retained to help RDN bylaw services monitor the site in addition to barriers being placed at the park. If it has found that the park barriers continue to be compromised and the site used, the placement of sand option may be implemented.”

Tom Armet, RDN manager of building and bylaw services, told the News Bulletin the regional district can’t ticket or penalize anyone who happens to use the skate park during the pandemic, as it doesn’t have the authority.

The B.C. government has clarified bylaw enforcement officer responsibilities in order to provide a consistent approach across the province, Armet said in an e-mail. Officers can only assist with compliance and enforcement of public health orders, as only the provincial health officer or Island Health may direct enforcement, he said.

In electoral areas, RDN bylaw enforcement officers will continue to monitor community facilities and areas closed to the public, remind residents that playgrounds, sports courts and skate parks are closed and remind residents of the critical need to ensure physical distance, said Armet.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

Welcome to grilling season: Saanich firefighter talks barbecue safety tips

Grills should be cleaned, serviced prior to use, firefighter says

Cycling scavenger hunt comes to Tweed City

Cyclists scour Oak Bay for clues in Bike to Work Week event

Colwood woman launches Adopt a Grad

Facebook page aims to support students during pandemic

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read