EDITORIAL: Legislate an end to non-essential travel

EDITORIAL: Legislate an end to non-essential travel

It should have come as little surprise that many people chose to ignore the pleas from B.C. and Alberta government officials to stay home during the long weekend.

Were we disappointed there were so many tourists on the Island over the weekend? Absolutely.

Surprised? Not at all.

RELATED: ‘Full ferries’ only half-full, BC Ferries clarifies

Many politicians expressed their dismay about the situation. Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons took to Facebook to express his disbelief.

“Everyone had been doing what was asked of us, then some entitled or selfish people decided to ignore Dr. Bonnie Henry and travel for fun. There was no law to stop them – the fact that we would need one is ridiculous,” he said on his page.

Simons was nearly bang-on with his comment. All he had to do was remove the word “would” from that sentence. The bottom line is those tourists who came to Vancouver Island – and those who left for the mainland – had every right to do so.

Was it inconsiderate? Absolutely.

Reckless? Beyond a doubt.

But as long as it is legal, those who are in the position to make it illegal should not be questioning the actions of those who choose to travel.

What they should be doing is passing legislation to make such actions illegal.

We suspect such legislation will be in place prior to the May long weekend. It would be simple enough to turn the ferries into “essential travel only.” Start by allowing only vehicles with B.C. plates on the ferries (commercial vehicles notwithstanding). Book by reservation only, which would include a driver’s licence, and that person would have to be driving the vehicle. Exceptions could be made for medical emergencies.

Is the fact that we need a law to prevent a repeat from last weekend’s shenanigans ridiculous? Indeed, it is. Then again, the fact that we need laws prohibiting the illegal dumping of garbage is ridiculous. The fact that we need laws to stop people from driving while impaired is ridiculous.

In fact, the vast majority of laws could be abolished, if they were to be replaced by common sense.

Unfortunately, common sense is becoming less and less common every day.


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