Nova Scotia

Halifax pushes ahead with anti-graffiti plan

Halifax is moving ahead with a new anti-graffiti bylaw, despite concerns from some councillors that it penalizes the victims.

Halifax is moving ahead with a new anti-graffiti bylaw, despite concerns from some councillors that it penalizes the victims.

Regional council approved the bylaw in principle Tuesday after a lengthy debate.

The new rulescall for fines of up to $2,000 or30 days in jail.

Property owners would also have to remove graffiti within 10 days of being notified.If not, the municipality would clean up the mess and add that cost to property owners' tax bills. They would not be fined.

Removing graffiti quickly is the only way to fight this "plague" hitting the city, said Halifax police Const. James Bennett of the municipality's graffiti task force.

"Anything over 10 days has a 100 per cent chance of reoccurrence," Bennett told council.

Coun. Russell Walker is not sold on the idea of taxing properties hit with graffiti.

"I've known people who've removed it three times and it's back," he said. "I am not for punishing the victim, and that's what this does."

But Coun. Linda Mosher said most homeowners and business owners already clean up graffiti, so this bylaw is needed for the minority who don't deal with the problem.

"Prompt removal of graffiti equals less graffiti, which is less direct and indirect costs, and also more people will go to their business because they'll feel more safe."

Though council has approved the bylaw in principle, a public hearing must be held before a final vote.

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