Over the past few days, it was noted that signs had been torn down and that a picnic table and a staircase had been destroyed at the Outdoor Center (archives).
The Center de plein air du lac des Rapides, in Sept-Îles, suffered numerous acts of vandalism and theft, which led the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) to open an investigation.
Several misdeeds were observed in the aftermath of July 26 and 28, including signs torn down, and a picnic table and stairway destroyed. According to information from the City, the locked container of the Rapido Cross-Country Ski Club was broken into. An all-terrain vehicle and a trailer were stolen.
The City of Sept-Îles and the cross-country ski club must now assume these losses and replace the equipment.
The cross-country ski club will need to quickly replace the stolen vehicle in order to carry out trail maintenance this fall, which is a big expense for the non-profit organization.
Me, it makes me feel like it's a bit like stealing from the poor. We are not an organization that makes money, we are non-profit. It's really unfortunate, it's a bit like stealing from the community, in fact, laments the president of the Rapido cross-country ski club, Gaétan Talbot.
On the night of July 28, wooden facilities for hikers were destroyed. A sharp object sliced through a picnic table and stair steps leading to the trails.
That's not even to say that they left with the wood. No, they destroyed to destroy. It's simple vandalism, it's low-end, I can't think of any other words, notes the director general of the City of Sept-Îles, Patrick Gwilliam.
Wooden facilities for hikers have been destroyed.
The facilities were the property of Tourisme Sept-Îles and are now completely unusable.
According to the director general, this is the first time that the Outdoor Center has been affected by such acts. In recent years, a night watchman provided security for the site outside opening hours. This summer, however, the City of Sept-Îles did not receive an application for the position.
The Director General of the City of Sept-Îles, Patrick Gwilliam (archives)
According to Gaétan Talbot, the construction of a reception pavilion at Lac des Rapids would help secure the site and discourage further acts of vandalism.
We will look to repair at least the stairs. We should look at that this week. We are also looking for surveillance cameras, to prevent or catch people who are vandalizing for nothing, specifies Mr. Gwilliam.
With information from Laurence Vachon