rules regulations

Hub Staff

A by-law detailing rules and regulations for Saugeen Shores parks, trails and waterfront was introduced May 27 and again brought before Council June 10 in Council Chambers.

At the May 27 Committee of Whole meeting, Director of Community Services Jayne Jagelewski presented the by-law which is designed to act as an “all-encompassing” set of rules for active and passive parks, trails and waterfront in Saugeen Shores. The draft by-law listed nine “inappropriate behaviours” that were prohibited such as verbal and physical assault, vandalism and theft.

The by-law further said that no individual shall possess firearms, other weaponry or explosives and that permits are required for fireworks. Other items that were discussed were dumping and polluting, alcohol, planned gatherings, barbecues, bonfires, camping, animals, parking, watercraft and merchandise sales. 

Although the purpose of the by-law is to provide a positive and safe experience, Councillor Dave Myette was concerned with whether or not the Town was equipped to enforce the long list of rules and questioned whether there was a plan to “gear up” the enforcement side of the system, which he described as “complaint driven."

“Without enforcing by-laws, then there’s not really any point in having by-laws,” said Myette.

“We have one by-law officer and I know he’s pretty busy and I know he does the best job he can do but has there been any thought to perhaps deputizing other by-law officers," he asked.

Jagelewski requested that council allow them to put the new by-law into practice for a year before for they decide if there is a need for additional officers. “It is staff’s opinion that the by-law will be enforced when there is cause for concern or injury within our parks," she said.

Mayor Luke Charbonneau expressed an issue with section 5.4 of the by-law which stated that all parks shall would close between midnight and 6 a.m. unless otherwise posted. "This section does not apply to a Enforcement Officer or a Town Employee while on duty and for the purpose of carrying out their duties,” read the by-law.

The mayor deemed closure of the parks to be unnecessary if all other sections of the by-law were being complied with.

“In my view, you should never pass a by-law that you don’t intend to enforce evenly all the time. If you believe it is wrong to do something, then it is wrong all the time," stated the Mayor. “There is nothing fundamentally wrong about a member of the public being in the park and so it shouldn’t be in the by-law. We’ve said that there are certain types of behaviours we won't accept, certain types of things you shouldn’t be doing, and that should be true 24 hours of the day," he said.

The mayor further expressed a fear that the curfew would single out the younger generation for being in a place at the wrong time but who ultimately are not doing any harm.

The by-law was reintroduced at the Regular Council Meeting June 10 with minor editorial changes and section 5.4 removed as per Charbonneau’s request.

Again Councillor Myette took the opportunity to raise his concerns, this time referring to the it as “48 things you can’t do in Saugeen Shores."

“I think if we pass this it would just be a joke for our community,” said Myette. “Are we going to put a sign up at each park saying have a good time but don’t do these 48 things or we’re going to find you? It bounds on the ridiculous," he said.

Council however was undeterred by Myette’s arguments and the by-law was passed.

To read the by-law in full, visit the Town of Saugeen Shores document centre.