Anthony Billyboy and Ted Sam manage a checkpoint at Taseko Lake Road west of Williams Lake on Saturday, May 16. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

Yunesit’in First Nation removes checkpoints

The checkpoints along Taseko Lake Road are no longer in effect

Rising costs and difficulties to enforce have resulted in a First Nations community west of Williams Lake taking down its checkpoints as B.C. continues to loosen its restrictions due to COVID-19.

Checkpoints along Taseko Lake Road had reduced vehicles entering Yunesit’in (Stone) to only those of local residents and essential services from April 24 to May 20.

“It was a factor of those three things,” Chief Russell Myers Ross said of withdrawing the checkpoints.

“We thought we would at least withdraw them for now and if there’s an immediate threat we would put them back up.”

The checkpoints were activated to monitor, educate and enforce a COVID-19 bylaw that was was adopted by Yunesit’in Government on April 24 as a means to protect the community from the threat of the virus.

Read More: COVID-19: Bella Coola enters ninth week of travel restrictions as checkpoint remains active

“We’re not trained police officers at the checkpoint,” Ross added. “You can only go so far with people respecting the rules and the laws, and it turned out that we were having a fair amount of arguments and people asking for exceptions. It was proving difficult for ourselves to maintain consistency.”

Despite the challenges, he said the checkpoints were effective as the community at this point has remained free from COVID-19.

Visitors are continued to be asked to stay away.

“We’re relaxing our expectation as well as everybody else but wanting to still remain vigilant in making sure that people still feel safe,” Ross said. “So to that end we’ll probably still check in with our elders and the vulnerable people in our community, and continue to see where people are at in how safe they feel with where things are at right now.”

The COVID-19 bylaw will remain in effect as long as the pandemic continues.

Under it, Ross said they have the authority to ask people visiting their community about their level of health, and at any time to leave if they exhibit unsafe practices.

“We still have some backup measures,” he said. “I think it’s sort of the trend that’s going around right now people relaxing some of the recommendations that authorities have put in place.”

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP ask for assistance from public in hit and run of Canoe Creek pedestrian

The 33-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Williams Lake Highway 20 bump to be repaired once load restrictions are lifted

A historical slide area is actively causing ripples in the road

First annual Forest Service Road Clean Up For Wildlife goes until May 31

Taking place from May 16-31, the contest is open for anyone to enter

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read