OPP committed to safety this Canada Day weekend

Elisa Nguyen
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Canada Day is just around the corner and families will be gathering outdoors for a full day of events in Fort Frances.

July 1st commemorates the anniversary of the Constitution Act, which consolidated three territories into the single nation of Canada way back in 1867.

The day will begin with a breakfast at the Royal Canadian Legion at 7 am to 9:30pm, followed by a series of activities such as an adult volleyball tournament, kids bike decorating contest at The Sorting Gap, Bathtub races at the Point Park, and the long awaited Canada Day parade. The day ends with a display of fireworks at Point Park at 10:15 pm.

Acknowledging that many community partners have worked hard to ensure the weekend’s events are fun and well attended, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Rainy River District Detachment says they intend to be on site to ensure the safety of residents.

“Have a safe Canada Day holiday,” said Michael Glueheisen, community liaison officer.

To ensure that residents have a good start to the summer, the OPP are committing to keeping highways, waterways and communities safe.

“With the first official long weekend of the summer, the highways and waterways will be busy. We will have every available cruiser and boat out this weekend and we will be highly visible and well-resourced,” Glueheisen said.

Listing several ways that residents can ensure a safe and fun weekend, the OPP are asking motorists to be extra observant for children playing and walking along roadways.

“Reduce your speed in residential areas and areas where children are known to be such as parks and playgrounds,” Glueheisen said.

Residents should not be surprised if they are stopped for a random Reduced Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) and seatbelt spot checks, he added, which ensures strict compliance when it comes to impaired driving.

OPP marine units will also be patrolling waterways to ensure boaters are in compliance with vessel regulations.

Glueheisen reminded everyone that impaired operation on the water carries the same fines and penalties as on the highway.

From 2018-2022 (in OPP jurisdictions):

  • Number of drivers/passengers killed in collisions who did not wear a seatbelt: 279 
  • Number of boaters/paddlers killed in marine incidents who did not wear a lifejacket: 114
  • Number of drivers/passengers killed in off-road vehicle incidents who did not wear a helmet: 54 
  • Number of motorcyclists killed in motorcycle incidents who did not wear a helmet: 19