Six men who went paddle boarding and camped on the West Coast Trail without a permit when it was closed by COVID restrictions last summer have been fined and ordered to publish an apology article approved by Parks Canada.
The men had their paddleboards seized and were charged under Canada’s National Parks Act.
They appeared by phone and by video in Western Communities provincial court Friday and pleaded guilty to illegally entering and camping in the park without a permit.
The men had illegally camped along the West Coast Trail between May 30 and June 1, 2021.
Parks Canada, in collaboration with the Huu-ay-aht, Pacheedaht and Ditidaht First Nations had closed the trail due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to reduce the risk of transmission in the remote communities near the trail.
Parks Canada says it’s now prepared to return the men’s paddleboards.