Elgin — Hundreds of people are gathering this sunny Saturday for the Pollett River Run, among the first of the summer’s weekend events held on and around New Brunswick rivers. Participants will float leisurely down the river near Elgin in boats, some of which are homemade. RCMP are reminding New Brunswickers that river runs — whether in kayaks, canoes, or tubes — are far more enjoyable with a heavy and strict police presence.
“We understand that people believe this event to be some sort of party situation,” said Cpl. Cheryl O’Neil of the Riverview detachment, “and we would like to reassure these people that police absolutely know how to have a good time.
“We’ve all come out to take part,” she said, gesturing toward the dozens of members of the RCMP, fire department, DNR, and Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement Unit standing along the river. “Our job is to make sure that everyone is having fun. We’ll do this by invoking the Liquor Control Act, the Motor Vehicle Act, and any other act that cracks down on unnecessary party implements such as beer, hard liquor, loud music, or weed.
“We are not allowing anyone to bring an iPod, phone, or any device that could potentially play unnecessary music,” she said while members of her detachment patted down a group of criminals… er… participants. “A public disturbance is still a disturbance, whether actually in public or not. I think I learned that back in cop school at one point. It’s just more fun to sit in quiet contemplation of the law, not in some kind of rowdy party boat.”
O’Neil added that if she so much as gets a whiff of pot smoke during any portion of the day, she has no problem arresting each and every participant and taking them to the station for questioning.
“This is just a way for us to kill two birds at once; we can enjoy ourselves by heavily monitoring the goings-on, and potentially track down a suspected weed grower we’ve been relentlessly stalking. We want to remind people that marijuana is still illegal in New Brunswick — Trudeau hasn’t won yet.
“Another thing that’s illegal is drinking in public,” she went on. “Possessing or consuming alcohol in any public place is strictly forbidden. I realize that a river in rural New Brunswick isn’t exactly public per se, but if we didn’t come out today to force people to have fun our way, we’d really have nothing else to do. So, if police have reason to believe that a participant is in possession of an illicit bottle of Alpine or Moosehead, we have grounds to mercilessly shoot down their watercraft.”
O’Neil added that New Brunswickers shouldn’t need to drink in order to have a good time. “In fact, if you do drink, we will end your good time immediately,” she said, loading her gun and readying her pepper-spray. “Remember, we are doing this because we believe that we are fun people at heart, and that all activities are more fun when we’re around to ensure that they remain fun.”