The fire ban in the city is over, but the bad memories of how it was ignored linger. Even one city councillor is wondering if the $250 fine is the right amount.
“On an extremely serious issue like illicit fires during a fire ban, that is extremely serious, the amount of damage and risk to life that could result in, yeah, we need higher fines,” said Coun. Scott McKeen.
He’s mulling over whether to pull the trigger on a motion right now, or if the city should analyze the situation more. He said bylaws are written not for the majority, but for a very small percentage of people in the city. 95-percent McKeen said don’t need a bylaw.
“Most of us get along well with our neighbors and try to be good citizens, it’s the five percent that seem to not care about the rules or in fact flout the rules because they think the rules don’t apply to them or they think the rules are stupid.”
He said a fire bylaw is consequential compared to an idling bylaw or a bullying bylaw, something that’s set by community standards and more intended to be educational than anything.
Coun. Mo Banga would rather things stayed as they are. “I believe in education rather than punishment,” he said. “No fine is going to be eliminating this thing totally but increasing the fine might help but I’m not sure if it’s the ultimate key.”
During the two weeks since the fire ban was brought in on May 5, the fire department paid 242 visits to complaints.
A spokesman for the city won’t say how many resulted in tickets.