A petition calling for the Government of British Columbia to keep the Peace Arch Provincial Park open has been launched by a concerned resident.
Last week, BC Parks announced that the park would be temporarily closed due to a staggering spike in the number of park visitors.
This closure addresses public safety and traffic concerns in neighbouring communities due to a significant increase in the number of park visitors. It came into effect Thursday, June 18 at 8 p.m.
In response, Megan Ferguson has launched a Change.org petition to keep the park open. She writes that Canada and the United States have shared a border for decades, which has resulted in many families that are in both countries. She adds that Peace Arch Provincial Park is one of the only places that these families can meet due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I believe this park needs to stay open. If new protocols need to be enforced such as a reservation system so be it, but let families continue to reunite with one another," writes Ferguson.
"The Canadian government is better than this. We can innovate rather than close the only means of connecting with family and friends."
According to a release, BC Parks consulted with RCMP, border officials and numerous local communities. They implemented several measures in order to decrease the numbers of visitors, such as posting signage, and increasing enforcement patrols, installing a permanent gate at the park entrance and reducing park hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. However, the measures have not addressed the risk associated with the significant increases in visitors from both sides of the border.
BC Parks states that it, "understands the importance of unification for families and friends. Through exemptions to the Federal Quarantine Act, the federal government is now allowing immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to enter Canada to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days, as long as they are asymptomatic of COVID-19 and self-isolate for 14 days on arrival."
The park will reopen when it is deemed safe to do so.
Find out more about the petition HERE.