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A Thirder has gotten in touch to ask us: “Why are there always RCMP vehicles in the far-left parking lot of what is now the Simon Hotel, but had long been a Cambridge Suites?”

We reached out to both the RCMP and the Simon Hotel and we have the answer.

The parking lot acts as a vehicle station for the Eskasoni members of the RCMP. The members leave their personal vehicles in the hotel’s lot at the beginning of their shifts and slide into a cruiser parked nearby to serve and protect the east side of the Third.

The RCMP constable we talked to explained that the parking lot offers an “easily accessible place for members and allows for a safe place to pick up their vehicles.”

Considering the longevity of this practice, it is understandable that it is one of the first questions received by The Third.

For “many years…maybe 10,” said Michele Bianchini, General Manager of The Simon Hotel (and also its predecessor, The Cambridge Suites), when asked to flex her memory muscle by thinking about how long the RCMP have been using the hotels’ parking lot. “You get to know the names and the faces,” telling us that many of the same members have been using the lot during the decade.

She said some people think that the presence of law enforcement means that there is trouble at the hotel. In reality, she explains, the vehicles “act as a great crime deterrent.” Who wants to make trouble at the hotel with the RC cruisers when you can make the same hay up the road at the hotel with the fuzz-free lot?

The Simon Hotel provides access to the parking lot spaces at no cost to the RCMP because it serves some of the Third. “We do it as a service to the community of Eskasoni,” says Bianchini.

Both the hotel and the RCs tell us that the Eskasoni RCMP members do not use the hotel’s rooms or facilities and that the relationship between the two goes no further than the asphalt in the parking lot.

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