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Released on March 24, 2006

Park visitors will no longer be able to consume alcoholic beverages in Saskatchewan provincial park campgrounds during the May long weekend. Cottages and commercial businesses in provincial parks will not be affected by the ban. The ban will be in effect from Thursday, May 18th to Monday, May 22nd inclusive.

This decision is a direct result of the past history associated with May long weekends, including excessive partying, substance abuse, vandalism, assaults on other campers and peace officers, disorderly conduct and general disrespect for others' rights and property. The main cause is abuse of alcohol.

"Park visitors want to enjoy themselves in a safe environment and not have it ruined by the irresponsible behaviour of others," Environment Minister John Nilson said. "Our primary concern is to ensure the safety of park visitors, staff and peace officers."

The department has implemented a variety of preventative measures aimed at reducing public disturbances and property damage resulting from alcohol abuse in provincial parks over the past few years. Although these measures have provided some success in reducing vandalism to park facilities, they have generally proven to be ineffective in preventing alcohol-related public disturbances during the May long weekend.

Other park jurisdictions have implemented alcohol bans with success. Parks Canada implemented an alcohol ban in 1991 for every long weekend in Prince Albert National Park's main campground. In 2000, Manitoba banned alcohol in all provincial park campgrounds. Ontario first implemented alcohol bans in 1978 and now has a total of 38 parks that have bans in place for a 10-day period prior to and including the May long weekend. Alberta introduced alcohol bans into their park system beginning in 2004. All jurisdictions report that bans are an effective tool for addressing alcohol-related problems in parks.

Saskatchewan's 100 Regional Parks have individual authority to place an alcohol ban in their park if they so wish. Members of the public are encouraged to call ahead to the regional park of their choice for further information.


For More Information, Contact:

Michele McEachern
Phone: (306) 787-0412

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