Kelowna RCMP will not be allocating additional resorces to patrol or be stationed at Big White Ski Resort, despite requests from management to enforce public health guidelines. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media)

Kelowna RCMP will not be allocating additional resorces to patrol or be stationed at Big White Ski Resort, despite requests from management to enforce public health guidelines. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media)

RCMP won’t send additional resources to Big White, despite requests

Big White Ski Resort management requests additional resources to enforce public health guidelines

UPDATE:

Kelowna RCMP has since announced they will be increasing patrols at Big White, after resort management called for help to deal with the lack of compliance with public health orders in the area.

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP changes approach to Big White policing amid COVID-19 concerns

Original:

Despite requests by resort management, the RCMP will not be stationing additional police officers at Big White Ski Resort to help with enforcement of public health guidelines.

Instead, it will continue to send officers to the resort municipality from Kelowna — nearly an hour-long trip — on a call-by-call basis.

On Tuesday (Dec. 15), resort management called for enforcement at the resort, saying it’s difficult to combat violations with no body of enforcement close by.

Big White Ski Resort vice president of operations Michael Ballingall said at least two RCMP members should be stationed permanently at the resort.

“We’re asking for support between now and early January, and re-assess after that. But certainly, it’s important that we try to get some help now… I don’t want to enter into the world of proper policing, but minimum two (officers).”

READ MORE: Big White Ski Resort braces for more COVID-19 cases, calls for RCMP enforcement

He added that ‘Christmas is coming’ and that people will soon start to arrive from ‘all over’ the Central Okanagan.

”In any given year, there are parties, there’s loud music… We don’t have anyone up here that can tell people not to do that,” he said.

Later that day, a COVID-19 cluster was declared at the ski resort, something Interior Health (IH) attributed to shared housing and social gatherings.

So far there have been 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the community.

READ MORE: 60 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Big White Ski Resort cluster

The RCMP has since declined Ballingall’s request for additional resources. Asked if they would dedicate officers to patrol and enforce COVID-19 health guidelines at the resort, Kelowna RCMP said not at this time.

“Staffing and the allocation of our resources is an ongoing discussion with our community and partners. At this time, we do not have an officer permanently assigned to the resort of Big White,” said RCMP Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy.

However she said an RCMP does regularly patrol the area as part of their regular duties, and officers are scheduled to work shifts there during peak season.

Noseworthy encouraged the Big White community to reach out to the RCMP if they have concerns.

“If we receive a complaint of a loud party or a situation that is potentially in violation of the criminal code, provincial acts, bylaws, or the provincial health orders, we will investigate that incident,” she said.

READ MORE: Front-line workers named Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year by editors

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusRCMP

Just Posted

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

Jann Arden will embark on Canada-wide tour Spring 2022 with a stop in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 13. (Contributed)
Jann Arden coming to Penticton in 2022

The Jann Arden Live! tour has been rescheduled for 2022

A storm watch has been issued for the Okanagan, Kootenays and Columbia regions of B.C. (Calvin Dickson photo)
Another severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for thunderstorms that may produce strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain

The South Okanagan Tim Hortons raised over $4,000 through the three day orange doughnut promotion with 100 per cent of proceeds going to to the Residential School Survivors Society. The owner of these locations matched the amount. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
South Okanagan Tim Hortons raises over $8K for residential school survivors

More than $4,000 worth of doughnuts were purchased over three days

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read