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‘Silly’ issue closes campsite

Much-anticipated campground reopening with temporary porta potties

The bright-yellow sign nailed to two wooden beams and leaning on the entrance gate of the new Mamquam River Campground is hard to miss, or misread.

“Campground closed due to silly bureaucracy,” the sign says in large black print. 

The campground’s creator, John Harvey of the Mamquam River Access Society, was forced to close the new much-anticipated, affordable campground about one week after it opened on July 1 because its four outhouses were not approved. 

Vancouver Coastal Health’s environmental health department issued a Public Health Act Order in response to an unapproved holding tank at the campground, according to the health authority.

“Under the Public Health Act, we issued an order to prohibit the discharge of sewage into an unapproved holding tank. What has been installed at the site does not meet minimum design standards under the BC Sewerage System Regulation,” Vancouver Coastal Health spokesperson Anna Marie D’Angelo told The Chief.

Harvey had to close the camp until the situation was dealt with, he said.

He is reopening Friday with temporary porta potties, he said, and is hoping to be able to operate with the original washrooms soon.

Harvey told The Chief he built what he considers to be above-standard outhouses on site that have concrete bases.  For more on the campground go to

**Please note: This story has been updated since it was first posted. 

The outhouses John Harvey built without authorization from Vancouver Coastal Health. - Jennifer Thuncher
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