‘Laws were broken and police intervention was not witnessed:’ Wasaga Beach mayor speaks out about weekend car rally

Nearly 200 charges were laid in the Wasaga Beach area over the weekend following an unsanctioned car rally and police say that “numerous active investigations” into instances of mischief and property damage remain ongoing.

In an update on Tuesday, Ontario Province Police said that a total of 191 charges were laid in Wasaga Beach and the main arteries leading into the town between Friday and Sunday.

The authorities said that 154 of the charges fell under the Highway Traffic Act, including 37 for speed-related offences, 18 for having an improper or no muffler and six for unnecessary noise.

Three motorists were also charged with impaired driving.

The latest numbers come one day after police revealed that they were investigating a number of offences that took place early Sunday morning in Wasaga Beach, including the smashing of windows on two occupied police cruisers.

Police also said that they were investigating property damage at two big box stores.

“Over the past weekend, the safety of our community was repeatedly put at risk and this is not acceptable,” Mayor Nina Bifolchi said in a statement issued on Monday. “A group of individuals participating in an unsanctioned car rally visited our community and broke the law. This included careless and dangerous driving, the operation of unsafe vehicles, damaging public and private property, breaking into businesses, disturbing the peace, and risking people’s lives.”

Bifolchi said in her statement that town officials did meet with the OPP prior to this weekend’s unsanctioned H20i car rally and were told that an “operations plan” was being put in place to ensure community safety.

However she said that “police resources this past weekend did not allow for the robust response required to maintain law and order.”

She is calling on the OPP to “review what transpired and take steps to ensure that there is never a repeat of what we witnessed.”

“There were many examples brought to the attention of the town where laws were being broken and police intervention was not witnessed. This is unacceptable to the residents of Wasaga Beach,” she said.

OPP said that they are continuing to conduct “thorough and exhaustive investigations” into the offences that transpired this weekend.

They are urging residents to report any property damage or crime from this weekend immediately.