'Not welcome': Officials slam brakes on 'illegal' car rally planned for Goderich, Ont.

Officials say they may implement road closures ahead of a possible “unauthorized and illegal” car rally in Goderich, Ont., this weekend as they look to avoid a repeat of chaotic scenes witnessed at an event in Wasaga Beach, Ont., last month.

The Ontario Provincial Police and the Town of Goderich issued a joint statement Wednesday, telling individuals considering coming to the area “to participate in unsafe driving and/or criminal activities” that “you’re not welcome here.”

The statement noted that an unauthorized car rally in Wasaga Beach last month resulted in “numerous” illegal acts, including mischief, break and enter, dangerous driving, impaired driving, and disturbing the peace.

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Lack of police resources meant ‘law and order’ couldn’t be maintained in Wasaga Beach, mayor says

A number of criminal and traffic-related charges were laid.

Officials said they may temporarily close roads to prevent “illegal activities and disruptions” this weekend and noted there will be a heightened police presence.

“Should an unauthorized car rally attempt to come to Goderich this weekend, I want to reassure our local citizens we are fully prepared and have the necessary policing resources in place to protect our community,” Huron OPP detachment commander Jason Younan said.

After the events in Wasaga Beach last month, the mayor of that town said a lack of police resources meant “law and order” couldn’t be maintained.

“The town has no authority over the OPP, but we call on those in authority within the OPP to review what transpired and take steps to ensure that there is never a repeat of what we witnessed,” Wasaga Beach Mayor Nina Bifolchi said in part at the time.

The acting mayor of Goderich, Myles Murdock, said OPP officers are prepared for the possible event this weekend.

“The Ontario Provincial Police has all the resources required to deal with this unauthorized car rally,” Murdock said.

“I ask residents who witness illegal activity to avoid intervening in an effort to stop it. Instead, please report this activity to police immediately and allow them to do their job. This is for your safety.”

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