We are lucky that our local governments’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have largely been based on expert advice.
For example, Victoria and Saanich have opened roads in Beacon Hill and Mount Douglas parks respectively for walking and cycling to create more space for outdoor exercise with safe physical distancing, as most public health experts recommend. Outdoor exercise is essential for physical and mental health, and this approach builds public confidence and social solidarity.
However, Saanich’s mayor and council are undermining public confidence by attempting to close the multiple paths through the municipal golf course in Cedar Hill Park.
The course is closed to golf, and the one path around the outside is too narrow and crowded for physical distancing. Saanich first claimed this policy was to prevent the spread of COVID-19, then shifted to claiming that staff are incapable of lawn mowing without running over pedestrians.
A pandemic is no time for government bafflegab. Saanich must let people walk in their neighbourhood park.