Bylaw has councillor fuming

A bylaw that would allow the Township of Spallumcheen to fine residents in certain residential areas for open burning infractions, then incrementally raise that fine, has left one councillor burning.

A bylaw that would allow the Township of Spallumcheen to fine residents in certain residential areas for open burning infractions, then incrementally raise that fine, has left one councillor burning.

Andrew Casson is opposed to an open burning ticketing bylaw that was given three readings at last week’s council meeting. The bylaw would fine those caught open burning without a permit in R.1 and R.5 residential areas $50 from Jan. 1 of this year to Dec. 31, 2013.

When open burning is prohibited after Jan. 1, 2013, and people in R.1 and R.5 areas are caught open burning, the fine goes up to $100.

“I want to make it clear that I support all bylaws and policies decisions by council once they’ve been made,” said Casson. “I was initially against the open burning bylaw but now that it’s policy I support it.

“However, it’s premature to be jacking up the cost of the tickets prior to seeing if we’re going to have a problem.”

Casson said the ticketing bylaw shows a little lack of faith in the residents of Spallumcheen.

“If an issue arises down the road, and we as a council continue to support a bylaw restricting burning in residential areas, then I’d hope we’d take the necessary means to uphold this bylaw,” said Casson. “At this point it’s just a premature measure to initiate a ticket process, and second of all, the fine is going up in two years.”

Coun. Janice Brown said the township is educating its residents on the open burning ticketing process.

“We’re not going to blindside them with the tickets,” she said.

Council passed three readings of the ticketing bylaw, with Casson and Coun. Dave Brew opposed.

The bylaw is expected to be adopted at the next general meeting Feb. 21.