• John Jantak

Hudson resident wants town patrol to go after snowmobile scofflaws


Hudson Mayor Jamie Nicholls said the council will discuss enforcement of the town’s snowmobile ban with its municipal patrol officers after a person reportedly drove his vehicle through the Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve at Le Nichoir Wild Bird Conservation Centre a couple of weeks ago.

A Hudson resident is upset after a request he made to the municipal patrol to investigate an apparent infraction of the town’s total snowmobile ban that occurred recently at the Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve was reportedly ignored by personnel.

Adrian Burke brought his complaint directly to council during the second question period at the monthly meeting on Monday, January 14. “My understanding is that we don’t allow snowmobiles in the Town of Hudson,” he said.

Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve

“A couple of weeks ago I was surprised to see a snowmobile in the Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve at Le Nichoir. It’s surprising because it’s in a nature reserve. Perhaps more surprising is that it’s the third time it’s happened in the last two years. In all three cases it was three different people. I know this because I went to see them,” said Burke.

“My wife was brave enough the last time to put on her coat and boots and follow the path of this snowmobile to a home on Main Street. She talked to and informed the owner that they are not allowed to drive their snowmobile around town especially not on Main Street and certainly not in the nature reserve.” Burke added.

Apparent attitude of indifference

What bothered Burke more than the people who violated town’s snowmobile ban was an apparent attitude of indifference towards the incidents by a representative from the Hudson Patrol. “I phoned the patrol and gave them the address of this person and asked if they could go over and just talk to them and inform them politely that they should not do this,” said Burke

Burke said he was told by the patrol they couldn’t comply with his request. “I insisted and they said no. I would have to phone the SQ to make a formal complaint and they would send an officer over,” he added.

Waste of resources

“I said this was a ridiculous waste of resources especially since it seems the Hudson Patrol knows the people here and would have more of an impact on a person-to-person basis. It also seems to me this is a better use of the patrol,” said Burke.

He suggested that perhaps the role of the town patrol could be changed to include dealing with minor grievances between neighbours through mediation instead of calling the police. Burke also advised the town to consider putting ‘snowmobiles prohibited’ signage in the nature reserve and in parks along the waterfront.

Not an activity the town wants

Mayor Jamie Nichols said council will look into the matter. “The Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve is a bird habitat. Having snowmobiles go through there is not an activity that the Town of Hudson wants to see happening,” Nicholls told The Journal after the meeting.

“We’re going to be discussing the role and mission of the town patrol so that it is clarified to council and to citizens. The community patrol has a big role to play in our community and we’ll be discussing that this year. The other issue that Mr. Burke brought up regarding having clear signage is something the town could implement fairly quickly,” said Nicholls.

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