Campers unhappy with May long weekend drinking bans in Manitoba parks
'It's a shame that everybody has to suffer,' camper says of drinking restrictions
The weather on May long weekend isn't always pleasant or predictable, but one thing campers can always count on is not being allowed to drink alcohol in any of Manitoba's provincial parks.
"I think it's a shame that everybody has to suffer for the few people who aren't able to regulate themselves," said Kim Phillips, one of dozens of campers who spent the weekend at Birds Hill Provincial Park.
The May long weekend liquor ban for provincial parks has been in place for two decades. It's the only liquor ban of its kind in effect all year.
"Any other weekend it's just normal: you bring some, you have a little, you control yourself and everything is fine," Phillips said.
Ruby Rafael and her family park their trailer at the same spot every weekend in the summer, starting on May long weekend.
Rafael said she thinks drinking bans should either be in place all year round or not all.
"If they get rowdy they can kick them out, but if people are behaving they should just let them [drink]," she said.
The province says there have been more than 150 liquor-related camp site evictions at Grand Beach Provincial Park on May long weekends over the past 10 years.
Not everyone is against the drinking ban.
Jeff Lander camps every summer at Grand Beach with his family. As a parent with young kids, Lander says the ban doesn't bother him.
"Other people with smaller kids I can totally understand," he said. "I can totally understand that; keeping it down. But for me, as long as they don't get out of hand, [it] doesn't bother me."
Other provinces, including Alberta and Ontario, have similar rules in place for May long weekend.
With files from Courtney Rutherford