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New Comox Strathcona Waste Management dispute bylaw takes next step

Bylaw is designed to be an alternative to pursuing matters through courts
Comox Strathcona Waste Management’s new system for settling bylaw infractions over waste is moving ahead. File image, CSWM video

Comox Strathcona Waste Management is getting closer to bringing in new system to deal with illegal dumpers and other offenders.

The board, which represents the Comox Valley and Strathcona, has been working on an alternative to the Municipal Ticketing Information System (MTI) because of court time and costs. The new bylaw is supposed to mean a simpler system for less serious offences, typically those that result in fines of no more than $500.

The new bylaw sets out the responsibility for who will enforce matters, as well as offences for scavenging, trespassing and illegal dumping, along with fine amounts. These start at $375 if paid within 14 days, but they increase to $500 after that period.

The item came up at the meeting in December, where the board passed the first two readings. However, they wanted more information before proceeding further. It was back on the agenda for the Jan. 20 meeting, with the Comox Strathcona Waste Management Bylaw Adjudication Ticketing Bylaw slated for third reading.

RELATED STORY: Management holds off on new bylaw dispute system

It passed, though not unanimously, as Jim Abram, who sits on the Strathcona Regional Board, voted in opposition.

“I do not agree with people willingly breaking the law,” he said.

At the December meeting, he said the community wants enforcement and not “adjudication,” adding that the new system made it look like CSWM was “backing up” when it came to enforcing solid waste offences.

Staff responded the current MTI system takes up staff time to go through provincial court, which can also mean delays because the court may give priority to other matters. They added the province still has jurisdiction for more serious dumping offences, typically reported through the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline.

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