The Burns Lake RCMP is supportive of having a ticketing bylaw in place even though there would be limitations on what they could ticket on. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Burns Lake might be getting a ticketing bylaw

Will help extend RCMP's authority to attend to noise complaints

  • Nov. 25, 2020 12:00 a.m.

The Village of Burns Lake is considering putting in place a ticketing bylaw and the council has now directed the staff to bring back a draft ticketing bylaw for council review.

In a previous council meeting, Mayor Dolores Funk brought forth the topic of fireworks complaints from people which were not limited to just Halloween or New Years, but extended to random days. This followed a discussion around whether there needed to be a permit-process and if yes, how would that be enforced. Council members and CAO Sheryl Worthing all gave their inputs, along with the director of protective services Rob Krause.

The discussion steered to whether there was a need for a bylaw officer or not. Recently, the District of Houston signed up with the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako’s (RDBN) bylaw enforcement services. In case Burns Lake decides to hire a bylaw officer, this option to opt for RDBN’s enforcement services would be open to the village.

After the discussion, it became clear that while lack of a bylaw officer to enforce a fireworks complaint was a problem, the bigger issue was not having a ticketing bylaw in place that would help the officer or another authority like the RCMP to enforce rules.

Last week, Worthing had a meeting with the Burns Lake RCMP detachment Sgt. Shaunna Lewis to find out how they would feel about having a ticketing bylaw and Worthing told the council that the RCMP was “very supportive of it.” She also said that while the types of issues that the RCMP would be able to ticket for would be limited, and it would mostly be for noise complaints, including such a bylaw would help the village enforce on traffic, parking issues in the future. This would also be a good first step in case the village decides to have a bylaw enforcement officer for the village.

“Most municipalities have a Municipal Ticketing Bylaw. We feel this will be an extra mechanism to assist staff and RCMP in enforcing compliance with some of our bylaws,” said Worthing in an email to Lakes District News.

While there is no set date yet on when this would be a reality, a policy around this would be in place sometime in the new year if the council approves the staff’s draft ticketing bylaw.

“Through fair treatment, local governments can ensure residents, both complainants or those alleged to be in contravention of a bylaw, are dealt with respectfully. The idea is that it can foster community harmony,” she added.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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