'I was disappointed:' Wabamun, Alta. mayor reacts to close crowds on beaches
EDMONTON -- The mayor of a lakefront village west of Edmonton is voicing her concern after images captured an apparent lack of physical distancing at local beaches and parks.
A photo taken Saturday at the Wabamun Lake Provincial Park showed the beach filled with people, something Wabamun mayor Charlene Smylie says made her very uncomfortable to see.
“There was just a lack of physical distancing, people gathering in groups, there was a lot of people on the beach, not a lot of social distancing and people getting right up to people."
She says she also visited the park within the community of Wabamun, and didn’t see much of an improvement.
“I did take a drive through Waterfront Park and I was really disappointed in what I saw. A lack of social distancing, people gathering.”
Smylie says during a normal year she would be giddy to welcome people to the community, however with the pandemic she advises people to listen to health officials.
“This summer is going to be a little different, which is tough. If you come and visit and you see that parking lot full, maybe come back another day or try another park,” she added.
“It’s very challenging, usually I got my arms wide open to welcome everybody to Wabamun because this is our fun season, it’s busy. But when it gets that crowded there is that concern, ya know the virus hasn’t gone away yet.”
Wabamun is approximately 70 kilometres west of Edmonton.