A sign posted inside outhouses in Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, indicating officials are unable to provide hand sanitizer due to a shortage of supply. (Michael Briones photo)

Parksville resident concerned about lack of hand sanitizer at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park outhouses

BC Parks cites shortage of supply

A visitor at Rathrevor Beach Park Provincial Park is raising concerns about a lack of hand sanitizers at its public outhouses.

Dawn Carpenter, a resident of Parksville, indicated that a sign is posted inside stating that “due to a supply shortage we are no longer able to supply hand sanitizer.” She said hundreds of tourists visit the park and use the facilities.

“At this time of COVID considerations, this does not seem in line with helping keep local residents of Parksville Qualicum Beach safe, not to mention the visitors themselves,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter said her recent visits to local stores and pharmacies show shelves full of hand sanitizer and also pointed out a new vodka distillery is selling an abundance of the product.

In contrast, Carpenter said on a recent camping trip to Cowichan River Provincial Park, there was hand sanitizer provided in outhouses.

“What is going on with the management of our beloved Rathtrevor Provincial Park?” she asked. “At such a crucial time when we are welcoming tourists and their contribution to our economy, but want to keep everyone safe.”

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has indicated while the general supply of hand sanitizer in the province has improved, it is not the same with all commercial dispenser supplies.

BC Parks uses dispensers that are reliant on a supply of bagged sanitizer, and the ministry said this is causing challenges for securing replacement supplies.

There’s already an effort by BC Parks to source new dispensers that are not reliant on bagged sanitizer but the ministry pointed out that due to the high demand for commercial dispenser, it is taking more time to source the quantities necessary to replace them.

“BC Parks is unable to guarantee hand sanitizer availability in toilet facilities,” the ministry says. “Park visitors are to bring their own supply of hand sanitizer when visiting parks.”

Hand soap is provide in facilities that have access to sink and running water. But when soap and water are not closely available especially in the backcourtnry, visitors are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer. If you’re heading to a provincial park, BC Parks has a list of recommendations on its website to stay safe.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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