LETTER: Security was overblown at Port Alberni Salmon Fest

People are asking why on earth Salmon Fest was moved to Tyee Landing…

To the Editor,

People are asking why on earth Salmon Fest was moved to Tyee Landing; it was better where it was.

This year, the security search team was really a bad move. One person said it was like getting on an airplane. It’s not a pleasant thing to have someone patting you down for a bottle of water.

I saw people with a baby in a pram having their baby buggy felt up; handbags of retired ladies got a going through. The whole concept of not letting people bring anything in so as to ensure they buy something is counter to any good business model.

As it is public land, granting a concession should require the enterprise to comply with civil liberties. Inappropriate searches by security persons unqualified to conduct them cannot go unchallenged. I think it is a prime example of how out of touch authorities are with the citizens of Port Alberni.

Many say the former site at Clutesi Haven Marina was more appropriate, and central, and accessible, and more fun where it was without the searches and the narrow strip of a gauntlet of lotteries and food. It was way better.

Maybe the drag races can go on Tyee Landing? just cut them down to 1/16th of a mile and away you go.

The Port Alberni Port Authority needs to figure out what to do with the new Tyee Landing thing. However, the Salmon Festival is not it.

It would be good if future ideas be given some public air before proceeding; and for business, going the security route at the gate to try to increase sales is totally backwards. If it was for weapons or explosives then a properly trained team would be there with expertise in search and privacy issues.

The band was good though: whoever got that right deserves praise.

Michael Wright,

Port Alberni

Editor’s note: This was the third year in a row that the Port Alberni Salmon Festival has been held at Tyee Landing, and the first for the open festival licence and security at the gate.

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