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bear trash bylaw

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Trash bylaw coming A new municipal bylaw that will boost the fine for improper storage of trash from the current $75 to $500 will likely come before council at its next meeting Nov. 1. Municipal administrator Jim Godfrey told council at its Oct. 18 meeting the bylaw had been drafted and referred to municipal lawyers for final review. Once approved there will likely be a one-year implementation period before it become effective. This will give the community time to ensure enough bear-proof garbage bins have been installed throughout the resort, leaving no excuse for offenders. It is likely the bylaw will only apply for the period from April 15 through to Nov. 15 each year. This will give the mountains more freedom with their on-hill bins through the winter months. It will also be less onerous on organizers of winter events and festivals. The new regulations will likely give bylaw officers discretionary power to decide where bear proof containers should be mandatory. For example, they are not currently required on the second floor of the Marketplace buildings but if the area should become a problem, this can be changed in terms of the bylaw. The $500 fine will allow the municipality to exact payment without having to take offenders to court. The stiffer local penalty will be on top of provincial legislation passed earlier this year which makes it an offence to attract wildlife by leaving garbage out. Under the new Wildlife Act, offenders can now face fines up to $50,000 for a first offence and up to $100,000 for a second offence, as well as a possible maximum prison sentence of one year. The new legislation gives conservation officers the power to order offenders to clean up their attractants. If they disobey, the CO’s can take them to court. The first culprit to feel the weight of the new rule was the Whistler Golf Course which was recently ordered to remove non-bear proof trash receptacles from the course.

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