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New canadian law bans scuba divers

Underwater divers — who allegedly “take a whizz” in the parking lot — are not welcome at the fashionable seaside community of Lions Bay. Village council has passed a bylaw banning non-resident scuba divers at Kelvin Grove Beach Park, subject to $10,000 fines.

Coun. Peach Akerhielm says council needed to address concerns about divers’ “rude” behaviour.

“Too many of the divers strip down to total nudity at their cars and then urinate around the parking lot, within view of residences,” said Akerhielm, who was not available Sunday, on the village’s community website.

“Residents have many anecdotes and photographs. Two council members have personally experienced rude and provocative behaviour,” she said.

Divers said residents in the upscale community of 1,400 are being unreasonable.

“Petty little minds are at work,” said Glynn Miller, secretary of the Pescadero Dive Club in Vancouver.

“It seems a fascist type of move. It’s definitely curbing human freedom. I can’t understand why the residents are so upset,” he said.

Miller said locals have never liked sharing the beach with outsiders. The park sports wolf eels, anemones and sharks, who cruise along an enormous underwater wall.

“It’s tough to put your hand down without touching sponges, coral or something. The Cousteau Society says the bio-mass is amazing, more so than tropical waters,” said Miller.

He said complaints are overblown. “Being nude is virtually impossible. Over 90 per cent wear dry suits. They have underwear on.

“I can understand people taking a whizz because you’ve got to pee. No facilities are supplied. Divers aren’t the only ones doing it. So do people walking dogs.”

One online opponent called “Karine in B.C.” urged a group protest. “This is all kinds of disgusting. I say we organize a mass pee-off at the beach. Set a time and date for everyone to go.”

Akerhielm said the ban is legal because council is allowed to control parking and other activities down to the area above the high-water mark.

Miller said it may take a court challenge to overturn the bylaw.

“How can you stop people from diving at a public beach? The public has access to the high-water line. It’s the law,” he said.

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4 responses

  1. Yes, the bylaw is stupid and will not stand. But why does Mr. Miller talk about a place he obviously has never visited. “no facilities” ? There are changerooms/washrooms open 24/7 about 100ft from the parking lot ! Grow-up and use them.

    September 3, 2009 at 10:00 pm

  2. Steve

    This is how the wealthy and greedy prevent normal people from getting shore access to the ocean that belongs to all of us.

    A public restroom and modesty screen where people can change in and out of diving suits are inexpensive and just good sense to have at a location where the public goes to enjoy our common coastline.

    I say huzzah for the divers for fighting for their access rights and booooooo! to the rich people who want to “own the ocean”.

    September 4, 2009 at 6:30 am

  3. Brendan

    To all the People in Lions bay that are anit-scuba diving…
    get a life, like seriously people, you have way to much time on your hands if this kind of shit gets under your skin. my advice, get a hobby, job, make a friend, smell the flowers, be a happy person.. whatever it takes so your not but putting all your energy into banning/hating/restricting… its not good for the old ticker you know. Scuba Divers are just going there for a little peace underwater, no harm done. they don’t cause a fuss (like an actual fuss, not something you made up i.e. turing into a Godzilla and breathing fire on your house, taking a tinkle behind a bush or showing off there sexy tighty whities for a second doesn’t count)… I dove there once or twice way back when, beautiful dive site. Actually was where I took my wife for our first dive date. but choose not to dive there anymore. I made that decision long before this law was ever passed, it doesn’t make a difference to me which way this thing goes, it’s just a piece of paper. The unwelcoming vibes were there in the passed and will be in the future. It takes away the purpose of diving for me, the peace I feel in my mind. Cant be achieved going there when I know I’m disturbing someone’s perfect little world…

    So take your beach, take your water, I’ve moved on, others will too… but know what you are fighting for, know what your taking away from others and ask yourself is it worth it? is this how you want to be remembered?

    September 4, 2009 at 6:36 am

  4. Jeremy Hall

    Similar things are going on far down under at portsea, Vic, Australia. Local buisnesses, not including the dive companies are banding together to get divers banned from parking down in portsea cause it degrades the upperclass’s lovely seaside retreat and uses up their car parks when it is busy in summer, but we are the only ones who come down in winter, half of which go and spend their money at the local pub which is putting in the brunt of the complaint. hopefully we wont come to the same result, but this is an area where the rich can do what they want cause they have the money, they have their own facist council that doesnt even invite any of the dive buisnesses in the area to talik about any of the issues that are apparently a problem.
    The divers are not the ones smashing bottles all over the car park or letting car tires down, filling up our storm water drains with cigarette butts & we have a toilet block which is regularly used by divers, not to mention all the facilities provided by the dive centres.
    we shall see what happens, but i fear the worst!
    We do need to fight this beaurocratic bollocks, rich wankers!

    September 5, 2009 at 4:18 am