The City of Campbell River gave first and second reading to a pair of bylaw amendments Monday that would see its bylaw officers able to give tickets for open alcohol in public. Black Press File Photo

City of Campbell River looks to impose bylaw on public drinking

Bylaw currently only exists in parks, will now expand to all public spaces

The City of Campbell River is looking to give bylaw enforcement officers the ability to give out tickets for public consumption of alcohol as another facet in its attempts to make the downtown core a more pleasant place to be.

Amendments to both the Public Nuisance and Ticketing for Bylaw Offences bylaws were given first and second reading at council this week, meaning the changes could go into effect as early as the end of April if the bylaws are given third reading and adopted at the next council meeting.

While the city currently has a bylaw in place surrounding the consumption of alcohol in public parks, it has no provision to issue tickets to people drinking in public anywhere else, although the RCMP has the ability.

“Isn’t drinking in public an offense right now?” asked Coun. Charlie Cornfield Monday night as the bylaw amendments were presented.

“Why would we be taking on responsibility for a statute that already exists federally and provincially?”

Coun. Kermit Dahl echoed those sentiments.

“I don’t understand what this is going to do,” Dahl said.

“Right now, if I go down to Spirit Square and start drinking a case of beer, the RCMP can come over and give me a ticket, take it away and charge me. What will change if we have this bylaw?”

But adding city bylaw officers to the mechanism by which ticketing can take place, according to director of planning Peter Wipper, is a way to streamline the process of discouraging the behaviour. It also gives the city a mechanism to “Red Zone” prolific offenders to keep them out of the area or face arrest.

“With some individuals, it probably won’t make a heck of a difference,” Wipper says, “but if their tickets mount up, you can take them to civic court and say, ‘we’re not getting compliance here, and we believe that this individual’s behaviour needs to change or he or she needs to not be permitted in this downtown area.’

“If you take to the courts several tickets showing non-compliance over an extended period of time, the courts can say, ‘obviously the tickets aren’t working and compliance isn’t being achieved’ and we do have the option of applying to establish a Red Zone that would prohibit those people from attending that area. If they are in that area when they’re not allowed to be, they would be arrested.”

Wipper says the strategy has worked well in other communities.

“They’ve found that these zones break the behaviour pattern. No longer are they associating with the same individuals on a daily basis, and that helps them. Calls for service for these individuals actually goes down. That’s the theory and philosophy behind it.”

“Is it fair to say that this proposed bylaw is consistent with other communities our size or larger where the RCMP have a certain amount of workload and this is an assistance to them in trying to alleviate the problem?” asked Mayor Andy Adams.

“That’s correct,” Wipper said. “It’s actually an anomaly that we have these regulations in our city parks but for some reason don’t have it in other public places.”

The proposed fine for contravention of the bylaw is $200.



miked@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Report of gunshots leads to discovery of deceased male in Campbell River

Police conduct investigation in the south end of Campbell River

Community garden offers learning experience for all

Cedar Elementary converts former playground site into community garden

Wind warning issued for Campbell River

Wind could reach speeds of up to 70km/h: Environment Canada

RCMP Emergency Response Team called in to arrest man at Black Creek General Store

42-year-old Campbell River man facing numerous charges

North Island candidates chime in on climate change, transition from fossil fuels

How do we get off oil and gas without tanking our economy?

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

Police say victim believes ‘vicious assault’ was an attempted purse-snatching

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Port Moody mayor goes back on unpaid leave during sex assault investigation

Rob Vagramov said he intends to return as mayor in three or four weeks

UBC issues statement after instructor tells students to vote for Liberal Party

University says partisan messaging was not intentional

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Most Read