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City of Cold Lake could see fines closer to provincial averages

The City of Cold Lake is looking to update a number of bylaws so fines for bylaw infractions are the same in other municipalities across the province.

Mayor of Cold Lake Craig Copeland says this issue came up as a housekeeping item during Council’s 2022 budget deliberations.

“Without regular work to keep these updated, bylaws become ineffectual and large, sudden increases become necessary down the road.”
In total, fines associated with nine City of Cold Lake bylaws were researched, with staff finding that in many cases, the fines prescribed in the City’s bylaws were lower than the average seen throughout the province. In most cases, modest increases were proposed to bring the fines in line with other municipalities.

Copeland admits they had looked at where the fines in the bylaws stand, in relation to those seen in other, similar municipalities across the province.

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The proposed increases are in relation to infractions of City bylaws including:

  • Animal Care and Control
  • Vehicle and Pedestrian Traffic
  • Off Highway Vehicle
  • Community Standards
  • Noise and Public Nuisance and Smoking

Administration says Bylaw Officers generally notify the public about violations and seek compliance through communication and teaching.

Copeland says this is the preferred way when it makes sense.

“These are municipal bylaws and generally we’re not dealing with serious crimes – the bylaws are designed to ensure that we can live together as good neighbors and responsible residents. While we prefer not to go down the road of issuing tickets where it can be avoided, we also need to make sure that the tickets are effective when needed, and so calibrating our fines appropriately is something that needs regular attention.”

Nine bylaws have been amended and each has been given a first reading. Each of the nine bylaws will be brought back for a second and third reading and debated by Council before any proposed changes can come into force.

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