Nudist Wreck Beach RCMP tent proves unpopular pitch in Vancouver
Plans for police tent on Vancouver's clothing-optional beach could cause tension, regulars say
Regular nudist sun worshippers at Wreck Beach, Vancouver's only clothing-optional beach, are unhappy at police plans to pitch a tent on the sands every day between the Victoria Day long weekend and Labour Day.
One regular, who goes by the name Zeus and sometimes, The Prophet, told the CBC the idea goes against everything the beach stands for.
"The whole idea to come to the beach is to feel relaxed and comfortable and not feel uptight and feel like you're being watched, even though you're not doing anything," he said.
Normand Au Clair, owner of Stormin Norman's Shamanic Grill, said he plans to start a petition. "It's not a good idea because it's just going to create tension," said Au Clair.
But the police insist the tent is a positive move, designed to aid in safety and community relations.
"The reasons are pretty simple for us," said Sgt. Drew Grainger.
"It's a safety issue for our officers to be protected from the elements, and secondly we want to create a welcoming environment where we can actually sit down and have discussions with people about community issues."
Grainger cited the beach's relative inaccessibility as another concern, saying that it can be onerous on emergency service to trek down he hundreds of stairs to reach someone in trouble.
"It's an enormous burden on taxpayers to have to activate those types of resources for something as simple as a man or woman who's had too much to drink or smoke," Grainger said.
With files from Bal Brach