Public nuisance bylaw raises questions


By Barb McKay


Kincardine’s new public nuisance bylaw got the seal of approval from Kincardine council last week, despite some trepidation.


As council prepared to pass the third reading of the bylaw during its meeting last Wednesday, some councillors questioned if some of the prohibitions included in the bylaw are necessary. Councillor Ron Coristine said that he enjoyed a tradition of lighting off fireworks with his children.


“Does this mean I won’t be able to enjoy fireworks with my grandchildren?” he inquired.


Councillor Ken Craig agreed, adding that he had no problem with fireworks. He also voiced concerns that execution of the bylaw is also complaint driven. Residents who feel someone is in violation, for example creating an unreasonable amount of noise, can contact the South Bruce OPP, which will be in charge of enforcing the bylaw. Under the public nuisance bylaw police have the authority to issue a fine on the spot.


“We should never have a law that makes something legal unless your neighbour complains,” Craig said.


Councillor Jacqueline Faubert said she doesn’t believe that that is the intention of the bylaw.


“Towns and cities around us have similar public nuisance bylaws,” she said, adding that the purpose of the bylaw is to prevent public nuisance behaviour from escalating to criminal offenses.


“It’s not meant to impede our quality of life in any way,” Faubert said.


Council approved the bylaw.