EDITORIAL: Blonde lawns

Officials urging residents to get serious about water conservation

Some people are blissfully unaware of the important issues facing their communities.

Some people just don’t care.

Parksville Coun. Sue Powell was working in her garden last weekend when she noticed what her neighbour was doing.

“I witnessed someone power washing their driveway for three hours,” Powell said Monday night.

Water is scarce on Vancouver Island, as odd as that sounds. The snowpack is minimal, we’ve had a hot and dry year and Parksville is at Stage 3 for water restrictions.

These water restrictions can be complicated and they change as you cross boundary after boundary in this over-governed region. Suffice to say power washing a driveway is verboten at Stage 3.

It was a Saturday when Powell witnessed what is a clear violation of water restrictions. The city’s bylaw officer doesn’t work Saturdays. Even with a bylaw officer on the job, enforcement is predicated on complaints and we’ve been led to believe the pile of files is high on the bylaw enforcement officer’s desk.

Would the officer even get to the site of the power washing, or any other alleged offence? If he/she did attend, would there be a warning first before a fine? Do the bylaws in relation to water restrictions have any teeth?

“I think we need to start trying to enforce what we have,” said Powell.

Mayor Marc Lefebvre jumped into the conversation. His target was green lawns.

“Lawns don’t exist in nature,” said the mayor. “They are an invention of man. If there ever was a summer when lawns should go blonde it’s this summer.”

Ah, blonde is the new green.

“We are in a tough position, we need people to co-operate,” said the city’s director of engineering, Vaughn Figueira. “We really need to take this seriously.”

Yes, people have rights. People who pay their taxes and water bills have rights. Like all rights, people are free to exercise them as long as they don’t infringe upon the rights of others. Power washing your driveway and keeping your lawn that familiar shade of green may contribute to a re-evaluation of water restrictions.

Call your city or town or regional district office. Read the stories we are presenting in the paper (pages 3 and 6 in Tuesday’s paper, and online at www.pqbnews.com). Be educated, be responsible, when it comes to the use of water. It’s the neighbourly thing to do.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

(File photo)
The Parksville Civic and Technology Centre at 100 Jensen Ave. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville 2020 annual report now ready for public feedback

Documents can be viewed online; comments or questions to be submitted before noon on July 5, 2021

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased in Parksville

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Most Read