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WIN! Guelph chapter helps defeat controversial aspects of public nuisance bylaw

The Council of Canadians Guelph chapter helped defeat the most contentious provisions of a draft public nuisance bylaw being considered by Guelph city council.

The Guelph Mercury reports, “After more than two hours of hearing from delegations (concerned about) aspects of the bylaw giving city staff tight control over the use of public property, (city council voted 12-0 to send those provisions) back to staff for more examination.”

Guelph chapter co-chairs Norah Chaloner and Keith Bellairs were among those who made presentations.

The news article notes, “The bylaw has been a lightning rod since a first draft was rolled out late last summer. A revised version presented to council had clauses related to protests, rallies and the distribution of handbills excised amid community concerns they violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But many of those who addressed council Monday expressed concern the bylaw is so vague it could easily be abused and those activities reinstated at will.”

“Keith Bellairs, a lawyer and local representative of the Council of Canadians, repeated his earlier assertion the bylaw would ban lemonade stands. While that is not the intent, he acknowledged, a prohibition against selling any goods on city property could see fines levied against children selling refreshments in front of their homes. ‘There is no exception here for lemonade stands,’ Bellairs said. ‘And please don’t create one. The problem is with the bylaw, not with my example.'”

“Councillor Maggie Laidlaw said she had ‘three pages of comments, all of them bad’, about the proposed legislation. ‘To me it looks like an attempt to kill a mosquito with an AK-47’, Laidlaw said, tabling a motion to refer those non-party sections back to staff for another look.”

After the win, the Guelph chapter said, “We want to convey our thanks to the Mayor and Councillors, who unanimously recognised apparent flaws in the draft public nuisance bylaw.”

For more, please read the Guelph Mercury article ‘Most of Guelph nuisance bylaw sent back to staff for another look’, http://www.guelphmercury.com/news/local/article/908577–most-of-guelph-nuisance-bylaw-sent-back-to-staff-for-another-look.