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Friday , 27 May 2022

City of Cold Lake Council looks to bring fines in line with provincial averages

The City of Cold Lake is proposing to update a number of bylaws to ensure that fines for bylaw infractions are in line with those seen in other municipalities across the province.

“This came up as a housekeeping item during Council’s 2022 budget deliberations because we have not had a look at where the fines in our bylaws stand, in relation to those seen in other, similar municipalities across the province,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Without regular work to keep these updated, bylaws become ineffectual and large, sudden increases become necessary down the road.”

In total, fines associated with nine City of Cold Lake bylaws were researched, with staff finding that in many cases, the fines prescribed in the City’s bylaws were lower than the average seen throughout the province. In most cases, modest increases were proposed to bring the fines in line with other municipalities.

The proposed increases are in relation to infractions of City bylaws including: Animal Care and Control, Vehicle and Pedestrian Traffic, Off Highway Vehicle, Community Standards, Noise and Public Nuisance and Smoking. Administration noted that, where appropriate, Bylaw Officers generally take the approach of notifying residents about violations and seek compliance through communication and education.

“This approach is what we prefer to see when it makes sense, because these are municipal bylaws and generally we’re not dealing with serious crimes – the bylaws are designed to ensure that we can live together as good neighbours and responsible residents,” Copeland
said. “While we prefer not to go down the road of issuing tickets where it can be avoided, we also need to make sure that the tickets are effective when needed, and so calibrating our fines appropriately is something that needs regular attention.”

The nine amended bylaws were each given first reading. The bylaws will be brought back to a future meeting where they will be debated and second and third readings will be considered by Council before any proposed changes can come into force.

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is an award winning journalist and is from Whitbourne Newfoundland. Green graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, River Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner and can fillet a Codfish.