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

Chinook fishery not ‘closed’ in area is message from guides

Conservative MP Calkins comes to Campbell River hear fishing stakeholders’ concerns

UPDATE: Fire crews suppress smouldering fire on Highway 19 north of Campbell River

Wildfire reached .25 hectares, according to BC Wildfire Service

Strathcona Regional District won’t cover director’s court costs

Case was concluded June 10, with lawyer saying clients were put up to launching petition

Intertidal walk looks at life on the reef in Campbell River

Biologist Sandra Milligan has been leading walks for 13 years

Residents welcomed to new Habitat for Humanity homes in Campbell River

New homeowners received keys during ceremony at affordable housing development

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Most Read