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Wasaga Beach seeks provincial intervention to combat recurring illegal car rallies

Wasaga Beach councillors have set their sights on ending the destructive stain that reoccurring illegal car rallies historically leave on the beachfront town by approving a motion to request the province intervene and create a task force to assist the municipality in dealing with unsanctioned events.

The move comes after another illegal rally attempted to take over the town on Labour Day weekend.

"We're going to stand up for the people in our community, and we're going to keep them safe," said Danny Rodgers, Wasaga Beach Development Services general manager.

The Town said it attempted to partner with the H20i organizers this year to create a legal event for all to enjoy.

"They were very clear that they had no interest in that. For them, it was about chaos," Rodgers said.

Armed with a court injunction, the Town went to great lengths with preventative measures, including vehicle checkpoints and road closures.

Police turned 400 vehicles away at town borders, handing out over 250 charges.

"It was months in planning, months of collecting intelligence, months of meetings with the OPP. Municipalities just simply aren't built to respond to things like this," Rodgers added.

Deputy Mayor Tanya Snell said it's time for the province to step in.

"Put it at the provincial level, develop a framework, develop a plan that then could be shared with all the other municipalities in Ontario."

Rodgers emphasized the significant cost of maintaining law and order, from staffing to signage, for one weekend.

"It's just such an incredible draw on our resources to have to man checkpoints 24 hours per day for three or four days in a row," he said.

In addition to seeking provincial assistance, the Town of Wasaga Beach is calling on its entire community to take a stand against these rallies, which includes discouraging businesses from hosting events that attract disruptive groups.

Thursday's presentation to town council also highlighted the tragic consequences of an H2Oi rally in Ocean City, New Jersey, last summer, where two lives were lost, underscoring the real and immediate dangers these rallies pose to communities. Top Stories

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