By Andru McCracken

Mayor Owen Torgerson is on the same page as Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry when it comes to following COVID-19 protocols and that’s why he believes it is not time to promote winter recreation.

“We need to take a step back. It’s another week and if we can bend the curve instead of bending the rules we’ll be a much better border community moving forward,” said Torgerson.

“If we don’t take that little bit of a sacrifice now, it will be a long winter.”

Torgerson worries that if the spread worsens the Province will impose harsher measures similar to the spring.

He said if residents cooperate, then businesses can keep the lights on and residents can still get groceries, hardware supplies and pharmaceuticals. “[Let’s] hunker down for one more week and show the province we can do this.”

“Physically distance, wear a mask, stick with your household.”

The latest provincial order strongly advises against non-essential travel until at least December 7.

“This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province. For example: Do not travel for a vacation. Do not travel to visit friends or family outside of your household or core bubble.”

A press release from the Village of Valemount on Monday November 30 said as much.

“We are asking our valued visitors to remember that we are a small community with limited medical resources; we are not well equipped to handle a community outbreak of COVID-19. As a result, we want to emphasize the message coming from Dr. Bonnie Henry: people are to avoid all non-essential travel for the time being.”

Sledding is not ‘illegal’
Corporal Jacob Joslin said that the RCMP is aware of the influx of recreational snowmobilers.

“Robson Valley RCMP want to remind the public that although the Public Health Order is in effect, it is not illegal to snowmobile. Visitors coming to participate in recreational activities are expected to follow the same travel guidelines as everyone else in British Columbia,” said Joslin.

“The RCMP are encouraging the public to continue to stay vigilant and if they observe blatant disregard for the Public Health Orders to please contact your Bylaw Officer or RCMP detachment immediately so that appropriate enforcement or education actions can be taken immediately.”