Squatters’ camp continues to cause concern

The Blackfalds RCMP continues to receive multiple calls about people camping in a treed area in the median along Hwy. 2

The Blackfalds RCMP continues to receive multiple calls about people camping in a treed area in the median along Hwy. 2.

The squatter’s camp is located between the north and south lanes of the busy highway, at the south end of Red Deer, just before Gasoline Alley.

“Since late December 2014 we’ve been pro-actively working with the land owners (Alberta Transportation) in finding a suitable long-term solution to this issue in hopes of ending the recurring problem of people returning once they’ve been asked to leave,” said Cpl. P.A. Penny of the Blackfalds RCMP detachment.

The RCMP has five concerns in regards to the occupation of the land including the fact that people have to cross Hwy. 2 to gain access to the site.

“There’s potential for vehicle collisions in people crossing the highway,” said Penny.

There is also potential for those staying in the make-shift camp to be injured if a vehicle were to leave the busy highway and enter the camp.

Penny also noted the encampment lacks basic sanitary facilities, which makes the living situation unhealthy.

“To date, I have attended the site on four separate occasions since December and met with the occupants of the property and find them amicable to also seeking a mutual solution,” he said.

Last Friday, a meeting was held by Alberta Transportation with the RCMP, including representatives of other partnering agencies to work towards a long-term solution.

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