ECONOMY - The owner of a camper trailer parked near a beach in Economy says he is doing no wrong.
And given that his camper is located on private land, Elwood Canfield said his presence is of no concern to municipal officials.
"I would think if there is any conflict on whether we should be here or not it would be with the land owner, not the county," Canfield said, in reference to recent inquiries by Colchester County Coun. Tom Taggart over whether private campers should be on what some consider public beach area.
"Over the summer, I've had several complaints and I think they are worthy complaints of RVs or trailers or whatever parking on what most of us would consider to be public beaches between the high water mark and the adjacent land," Taggart said at a recent council meeting. "The complaint I'm getting is people don't feel comfortable just going to enjoy themselves."
Private property rights end where the land meets the mean, or average high water mark, at which point it becomes Crown land.
Canfield said his trailer and others are parked well above that point and contrary to making anyone feel uncomfortable, he believes his efforts have actually made the area a more enjoyable place to visit.
"We look after the land and we keep the beach area (tidy)," he said. "The beach is clean."
And in speaking with neighbours in the area, he said, no one has expressed concern to him.
"The thing is we know a lot of people in the area and we had permission from the land owner to be here. I just don't understand where the concerns are that people can't use the beach. No one has ever been turned away from the beach that had a bathroom facility."
Taggart would still like a ruling on where the high water mark actually rests. He believes the provincial rules would prevent anyone from doing anything on that property from a development perspective.
"At the end of the day I see that as public beach."