Illegal campers causing a nuisance in Tofino

Illegal camping complaints have been rising over the past month.

The past month has brought an increase in illegal campers to Tofino and the local RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Blaine Mumford is making his pitch for incoming tourists to secure a place to sleep legally before arriving.

“If you’re coming to Tofino without a place to stay, realize that we’re at capacity right now for the rest of the summer and it would be wise to make those arrangements before coming because you’re not allowed to just camp anywhere,” he said.

“When you show up and you don’t have a place to stay, you’re impacting the town and the environment in, sometimes, a negative way.”

While police can, and do, respond to local complaints regarding illegal campers, the issue primarily falls under the umbrella of Tofino’s bylaw enforcement team and complaints should be directed to the district’s bylaw line at 250-725-4435.

“The police obviously have to prioritize our calls for service and while bylaws fall underneath our mandate, they do just practically fall to the bottom end of the list when we’re dealing with things that maybe have more potential to impact people’s safety and security,” Mumford said.

“Our main function isn’t to enforce the bylaws, unfortunately, it’s to deal with those other types of issues that bylaw is not equipped to deal with because they’re police matters where people’s safety or security could be at risk…and in the summertime we get a lot more of those calls for service too.”

Tofino’s Municipal Ticket Information System Bylaw—No. 1088, 2009—stipulates that anyone caught camping illegally is subject to a $200 fine.

Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News

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