B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)

Princeton-area cabin owners consider defying travel ban

‘I’m planning to go up. If anyone doesn’t like it I invite them to stay out of my yard’

It remains to be seen how effective a new provincial health order forbidding non-essential travel will be in stopping the spread of COVID.

The order went into place Friday, April 23, and will continue until May 25.

Related: 96 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Travel between three areas of the province, based on health authority regions, is restricted and violations could result in a fine of $575.

Further, abusive or belligerent behaviour related to the order is punishable by a $230 ticket.

“Our objective is still seeking voluntary compliance and education,” said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes in an interview with the Spotlight.

Tickets here may be issued “if certain conditions are met,” he added.

In the Princeton area specifically, there will be no road side checks at this time, however Hughes said “that could change at any minute.”

People may travel between the Interior Health Authority and the Northern Health Authority, but the order effectively blocks travel from the Lower Mainland to the Similkameen.

Related: B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

The move has created consternation and considerable debate among some people who live outside the area but have seasonal homes in rural Princeton and Tulameen.

In answer to a question from the Spotlight posted to a public Facebook group, Tony Cook wrote: “I’m planning to go up. If anyone doesn’t like it I invite them to stay out of my yard.”

Andrea Derkoch Smyrski is also planning to visit her property. “We are coming. We need to care (for) and maintain our place. But like all before us we will stick to our place and bring all of our stuff with us. We are not coming to party. I would not call it a vacation either. We will keep you safe Tulameen, by doing our part.”

Victoria Anderson Manz feels she can make her own choices. “I don’t make any stops, bring with me what I need. If people in town pop over while I’m there, I’m happy to see them. Three of my family members are tested weekly for their jobs. I’m safe. I’m an adult, I’m a reasonable person who can make a call on whether I need to stay home.”

Only an emergency would tempt Sharen Rogers to travel. “(We) will abide by the rules – will only visit the cabin prior to May 24 (for now) unless we are subject to flooding.”

Tami Rose hopes those with rental properties have cancelled reservations. “It’s one thing as a homeowner to come up, stay in your yard and do maintenance, but hopefully any cabin owners that had rentals booked for the next five weeks have cancelled them. Unfortunately it’s those rental people that might disrespect the rules more so than regulars here.”

Hughes acknowledged the Facebook comments. “Any perusal of social media shows there is a core group of people who refuse to abide by the rules. If you choose to be one of those people you may be subject to a $575 fine.”

Related: ‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

Area H director Bob Coyne is keeping an eye on the situation, but admits he has no control.

“If people want to disregard provincial health orders and the premier that’s way above my pay grade,” he said.

“Some people are following the orders of Dr. Bonnie Henry and others aren’t…I think people are tired and they just don’t know how to deal with it anymore. They are reacting differently than they possibly would have in normal times.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com


 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

A memorial to former Abbotsford and RCMP police officer Shinder Kirk in Cedar, B.C. Kirk died in a car accident on Cedar Road in December 2018. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Trial begins for driver involved in car crash that killed retired Abbotsford police sergeant

RCMP accident reconstructionist takes stand in trial of Conrad Nikolaus Wetten

This vehicle is suspected of being involved in a suspicious incident on Friday (May 7) on Mouat Drive in Abbotsford.
Driver in Abbotsford tries to lure teen girl into his vehicle

Man tells 14-year-old that her mom sent him to pick her up

The map shows the number of COVID-19 cases for the week of April 25 to May 1. The darkest areas indicate communities with a daily average of more than 20 cases per 100,000 population. (BC Centre of Disease Control)
Surrey and Abbotsford battle for top COVID hotspot in Fraser Health

Two communities are among areas across province showing highest transmission

Country music star Brett Kissel enters the Clayburn Village Store, which is one of several featured Abbotsford locations in his recent video “Make A Life, Not A Living”. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Abbotsford featured in Canadian country star Brett Kissel’s latest music video

The Clayburn Village Store, Nomad Auto Sales and farm land in Matsqui showcased in popular video

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday evening (May 7) to remember 29-year-old corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, who was killed in last weekend’s brazen daylight shooting outside North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre mall. (James Smith photo)
Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting

Corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, was killed in what police say was a targeted incident

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read