Campground Quiet Hours - Questions and Answers


1. Why did Bruce Peninsula National Park see the need to institute a campfire and alcohol ban during quiet hours in the Cyprus Lake campground this summer?

There has been a trend towards increased noise, inappropriate behaviour, vandalism, and disturbance to other campers at the Cyprus Lake Campground over the past few years. We would like to stop that trend, and ensure the campgrounds are a place where everyone can come and camp, have fun and enjoy a good night sleep.

In over 98% of cases, alcohol is a contributing influence in the incidents that we respond to. Campfires tend to be a gathering place for large numbers of people, and limiting campfires during quiet hours encourages people to turn off their music, put away their alcohol, and return to their own campsite for the night.

The alcohol ban is an administrative and enforcement tool that helps implement quiet hours in the campgrounds.


2. When is the alcohol ban in effect?

The alcohol ban will be in effect nightly May through October, from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. The consumption of alcohol will not be permitted during those times. Kindling or maintaining of a campfire is also prohibited during quiet hours.

There will also be an alcohol ban in effect every long weekend in all areas of the park during long weekends in 2017. The ban will be in effect from 10 p.m. the on the Thursday before the long weekend, to 7 a.m. on the Tuesday following the long weekend; Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labour Day, and Thanksgiving. The possession and consumption of alcohol will not be permitted during those times.


3. Why from 10:00 p.m. to 07:00 a.m. most of the summer, and what makes long weekends different?

Many campers enjoy a few drinks around the fire in the evening and this is not a restricted or prohibited activity. Noise disturbances and inappropriate behavior are most common and become a problem after quiet hours.

On long weekends the park has seen an increasing trend of alcohol-related incidents, including consumption in prohibited areas, increased noise, inappropriate behaviour, vandalism, and disturbances to other visitors. A total ban will help enforcement and promote a quieter park experience.


4. How has/will the alcohol ban been communicated?

Notices to staff and articles and/or public notices will be published in local & regional papers. Our campground reservation system, website and travel industry websites will be used to communicate this. There will be on-site signs at the campground and information centres.


5. How will the alcohol ban be enforced?

The first step will be broad communication at the campgrounds so people are aware of the ban. Campground attendants and park wardens will be doing regular campground patrols in the evening until 10:00 p.m. They will establish a presence in the campground and ensure those who are being loud are aware that there is a quiet time and an alcohol ban that will be enforced.

If park staff or Warden staff observe non-compliance after 10:00 p.m. they will record and report their observations, depending on the nature of the incident. Further warnings will not be issued. If alcohol is present, it will be confiscated and disposed of. The campers may be evicted and/or charged.

As this is a new initiative that we are piloting, procedural changes will be made in the future as required.

 
6. What kind of incidents are you dealing with?

Most campground disturbances involve complaints about loud noise. That can include anything from loud talking, loud music, loud vehicles, arguments etc.


7. Do other parks have alcohol bans?

Yes, Georgian Bay Islands, Jasper, Prince Albert, Elk Island, Riding Mountain, Banff and Kootenay national parks as well as many Provincial Parks implement partial weekday, weekend, or long weekend alcohol bans to reduce the same type of issues.


8. Where can I camp if I want to have an alcoholic drink?

Alcohol is permitted at the Cyprus Lake Campground most days, until 10 p.m. During long weekends, when alcohol is not permitted in Bruce Peninsula National Park, campers can check with provincial and private campsites in the area.


9. What is the definition of Alcohol? What is legal? What is not?

Anything with more than 0.5 % alcohol is prohibited during quiet hours and on long weekends.


10. What will happen if I get caught drinking in the campground?

Drinking at prohibited hours will result in three things:

1. Alcohol will be seized.
2. The site (and all persons on it) will be evicted and banned from the national park campgrounds for 48 hours. There is no refund on any camping or personal user fees paid.
3. The person may be charged by Park wardens.


11. What law am I breaking?

Persons contravening the alcohol prohibition times in Bruce Peninsula National Park may be charged under subsection 2(1)(a)(ii) of the Trespass to Property Act of Ontario.


12. What kind of fine would be given if I am caught with a bottle of beer?

Consumption of alcohol during the prescribed alcohol ban hours would involve a charge under the Trespass to Property Act of Ontario. If someone is found possessing or consuming alcohol during a prescribed alcohol ban they may be charged and issued a ticket by a park warden or police officer. The ticket would be for $65.00 ($50.00 fine, plus $10.00 victim surcharge, and $5.00 court cost), for Engaging in Prohibited Activity.

If an individual is caught with alcohol during a possession ban or caught consuming alcohol during a ban the park has the authority to cancel their camping permit. Once they permit is cancelled they are not permitted to enter any Parks Canada campground for a period of 48 hours, and no refund of paid fees will be issued. Once a camping permit is cancelled, the campsite becomes a public place and the wardens have the authority to seize any open container of alcohol under the Liquor License Act.

However, if the offence is serious enough the park warden or police officer has the option of issuing a Part III Summons to Court. If the individual does go to court and found guilty they may face a fine of up to $2000.00. The fine will be set by the court.


13. What are the next steps?


• Training and orientation will be provided to staff
• Communication of the prohibition will be sent to past campers
• Parks Canada will monitor and adapt throughout the summer to ensure quality visitor experiences.


14. How can I contact the park about this issue?

We welcome your feedback on this important issue. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to send us a message bruce.fathomfive@pc.gc.ca or call 519-596-2233. Thank you.