North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring has started fulfilling his election promise to remove outdated and obsolete bylaws from the municipality’s books with 52 waving goodbye. (File photo)

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring has started fulfilling his election promise to remove outdated and obsolete bylaws from the municipality’s books with 52 waving goodbye. (File photo)

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

After more than 100 years in the books, the Municipality of North Cowichan on Vancouver Island has decided it no longer requires its “public morals” bylaw.

Adopted by the council at the time on July 23, 1914, the public morals bylaw was intended to help North Cowichan regulate profanity, immoral behaviour, or lewd plays or skits.

But, as the municipality no longer has a hand in regulating such behaviours, council deemed the bylaw no longer valid and repealed it at its meeting on Dec. 4.

Since early this year, staff has been busy conducting a comprehensive audit of all of North Cowichan’s bylaws to identify ones that are no longer needed.

Through this process, 52 unnecessary bylaws were discovered, some of which date back to 1914, and they were officially abolished as irrelevant, outdated, and/or obsolete.

Mayor Al Siebring said when he was elected last year that he intended to begin a regulatory review of North Cowichan’s bylaws to determine which of them are obsolete and need to be struck from the books, and the abolition of the bylaws last week was the beginning of the fulfillment of that promise.

RELATED STORY: ROOSTERS DEFENDED IN NORTH COWICHAN

Another of the now abolished rules is the “streets and roads” bylaw, which was also adopted by council in 1914, under which the local government was responsible for regulating running or racing on roadways, and ensuring that pedestrians use the right side of the road.

The bylaw also regulated the age of people selling newspapers on the street, and the speed limit for horses travelling on a road.

Needless to say, the municipality determined the bylaw is no longer applicable in current times.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN’S NEW MAYOR READY TO BRING CHANGE

“I was convinced at the time [of the election] that there were a number of bylaws that were outdated or no longer serving our interests as a municipality,” Siebring said.

“It turns out I was right. It’s great to be getting rid of things like the ‘wide tires’ bylaw, which made specific reference to the permissible size of wagon tires.”

Other bylaws that were eliminated in the repeal motion include the “fence viewers” bylaw, in which the municipality would appoint people to be fence-viewers to watch fences encroaching on adjacent properties, and another that prohibits youth and girls under 16 from entering pool halls without parental consent.

“It’s a puzzle to me,” Siebring said with a grin, “why there were separate categories for youth and girls in the same bylaw.”

RELATED STORY: RESIDENTS TO PRESENT PETITION FOR TREE-PROTECTION BYLAW IN NORTH COWICHAN

Also eliminated was a bylaw that stated “no person shall ride or drive any beast at a pace exceeding six miles per hour.” Siebring said that removing the unnecessary bylaws is a big win, but there is still a substantial amount (2,149) of bylaws in existence.”

He said that while the bulk of its work is done, the regulatory review committee will not be disbanded in the event that other obsolete bylaws are uncovered which may need review before the end of this council’s term.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

1914
It happened this week in 1914

April 18 - 24: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

While pharmacies across B.C. are using AstraZeneca for public immunizations for people 40 years of age and older, there is no availability currently in the Kootenays. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
No AstraZeneca vaccine availability in Kootenay pharmacies, says Interior Health

Vaccine has been opened up at pharmacies in other areas of the province to people 40 years of age and older

Balsamroot, pictured here, can be found on Sunflower Hill in the Kimberley Nature Park, Eager Hill, Wycliffe Buttes, and many other areas across the Rocky Mountain Trench. (Paul Rodgers file)
Spring’s yearly spectacle of balsamroot

Ever year in May, balsamroot emerges for a brief showy period

Today, on April 22, over 1 billion people will come together – virtually – to mark Earth Day.(Pixabay)
Earth Day 2021: a time to reflect

By Ruth Kamnitzer Today, on April 22, over 1 billion people will… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read