The Town of Qualicum Beach’s Committee of the Whole meeting was the first chance for the town’s new councillors to officially take a look at the planned single-use plastics ban bylaw on Nov. 21.
Though town CAO Daniel Sailland touted the “significant amount of outreach” the town has done on the subject, councillor Adam Walker noted “there has been virtually zero consultation regarding the (plastic) straw portion of this bylaw.”
To see the proposed bylaw, go to www.qualicumbeach.com/plastic-bags and click the top of the page.
On that basis, he made a motion recommending that council, at its Dec. 10 meeting, amend the effective date of the bylaw from Jan. 1, 2019, to March 10, 2019.
“Being that we are to vote on this on December 10 and it could come into effect as early as January 1… I think allowing three months from the Dec. 10 meeting would be prudent to allow local businesses to adapt their business practices to conform to this new bylaw,” said Walker.
The motion gained full support.
Pat Jacobson, a member of the public at the meeting, asked the committee if the single-use plastics bylaw is seen by council “as the beginning of phasing out a lot more single use plastics?”
Currently, the proposed bylaw is specific to single-use plastic bags and single-use plastic straws, though there are a variety of exceptions and exemptions.
Sailland said that, at the direction of council, the town could look into other single-use plastics, but noted that “we are cautiously entering the waters on the things that we have certainty around due to legal precedence.”
Coun. Robert Filmer suggested that these changes must move in small increments as single-use plastics are so embedded into the economy and society.
Walker added that it would be prudent to follow the lead of larger municipalities that can better deal with legal challenges, and that Qualicum Beach can look at following suit after such challenges are met.