Bad bear season prompts Sudbury city council to pass new garbage bylaw
City councillors say this and other bylaws needs to be enforced to work
On Tuesday night, city council passed the new bylaw that requires citizens to put out their trash no earlier than 5 a.m., between April 1 and Nov. 30.
This is following steps other northern towns and cities have taken to keep hungry bears from coming into neighbourhoods, as they did in droves this summer in Sudbury.
Ward 8 city councillor Al Sizer, who has taken the lead on this issue by helping form a bear policy committee, said the bear problem won't be solved with just a bylaw.
"We can sit here and we can pass motions and bylaws all we want as a council, but if we don't get some buy-in and some help from the residents, this problem won't go away," said Sizer, adding that he sees this as a "first step" and plans to bring forward other measures to help control hungry bears.
Larger discussion needed
The city is planning an education program in the spring to go along with the new garbage rules, but several councillors also stressed the need to enforce this and other bylaws.
Ward 6 councillor Rene Lapierre said he believes it's time for a larger discussion about the bylaw department and how many of the city ordinances are very difficult to enforce.
Ward 10 councillor Fern Cormier agreed.
"We can pass all the bylaws we want, bears don't respect bylaws," he said.
"Without enforcement this is very much a, 'Gee let's pat ourselves on the back and look what we did to solve a problem' kind of situation."
Cormier said he sees this as similar to the idling bylaw the city passed a few years ago that is "very impractical" to enforce. He said there won't be any "meat on the bone" until bylaw officers are able to respond to calls in the evenings.
"The understanding has to be that this isn't a banker's hours kind of job any more. Because if we're going to do this, we have to be able to back it up," said Cormier.