North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring has started fulfilling his election promise to remove outdated and obsolete bylaws from the municipality’s books with 52 waving goodbye.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But, as the municipality no longer has a hand in regulating such behaviours, council deemed the bylaw no longer valid and repealed it at its meeting on Dec. 4.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unnecessary bylaws were discovered, some of which date back to 1914, and they were officially abolished as irrelevant, outdated, and/or obsolete.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Needless to say, the municipality determined the bylaw is no longer applicable in current times.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“I was convinced at the time [of the election] that there were a number of bylaws that were outdated or no longer serving our interests as a municipality,” Siebring said.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

Pitt Meadows pickleball pro wins pair of medals in Toronto

Steve Deakin switched to the sport from tennis a couple years ago and never looked back

Maple Ridge wrestlers dominate provincials

‘Truly amazing,’ said Maple Ridge coach Bill McCrae

Looking Back: Student and youth protests go way back

Nothing new when it comes to carrying signs

LETTER: Pitt Meadows prof locks himself away to learn more about today’s budget

B.C. budget risks reducing life expectancy by over investing in medical care: Kershaw cites study

LETTER: ICBC changes a ‘breath of fresh air’

A Maple Ridge resident welcomes the new changes and impact on rates

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read