Posted on 09 May 2012 by admin
In politics, as in life, actions speak louder than words.
That’s why the swift action of Town of Osoyoos council must be commended after they voted Monday to dramatically increase the maximum fines that can be handed out to citizens who insist on littering and illegally dumping garbage on private property.
Only two weeks after members of council joined 75 community-minded citizens for a cleanup in the hills behind the Dividend Ridge subdivision, council has upgraded its current bylaw and anyone caught littering, or especially illegally dumping garbage, will now face stiff fines.
The maximum fine for littering has been increased to $200, which will be reduced to $160 if the fine is paid within 30 days.
The maximum fine for being caught illegally dumping garbage will increase to $1,000. Several councillors made it very clear they would have liked to have imposed a maximum of $5,000 or even $10,000, but current provincial legislation doesn’t allow it.
No wonder council has taken such a tough stance as it remains hard to believe that a community cleanup event resulted in almost 40,000 pounds of garbage being collected in just five hours.
As Coun. C.J. Rhodes commented at town council on Monday, that’s a travesty and those responsible for illegally dumping tons of garbage in the beautiful hills of Osoyoos should be ashamed of themselves.
The vast majority of people who use these beautiful hills for hiking or sightseeing wouldn’t throw a piece of paper on the ground and litter under any circumstance. An educated guess is the majority of people who bring their ATVs up into the hills also don’t do anything wrong when it comes to littering or dumping.
But 40,000 pounds of garbage doesn’t lie and there are obviously far too many people who are willing to engage in irresponsible and harmful behaviour and leave a giant mess behind for others to pick up.
Council has not only increased fines, but they will also be erecting signs making it very clear illegal dumping will not be tolerated and those caught will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Council is also going to look at installing and monitoring video surveillance cameras in areas of the town where most of the littering and illegal dumping is taking place.
All of the recent publicity surrounding the community cleanup and amount of garbage being illegally disposed of most certainly has caught the attention of the responsible offenders.
Hopefully they will take a long look in the mirror before engaging in such reprehensible behaviour in the future.
Osoyoos is one of the most beautiful communities in all of Canada, yet some idiots just don’t know how much damage they’re causing.
Quit littering and bring your garbage where it belongs – the local landfill. And if you get caught, don’t expect any sympathy from local bylaw enforcement officers or members of the public.
How would you like it if a stranger dumped garbage on your front yard?