Sudbury

Sudbury council to discuss proposed open air burning bylaw changes next month

After a flood of complaints, Sudbury city councillors spent some time Monday night debating a proposed permit fee for backyard fires.
Proposed changes to backyard fires are getting a thumbs down from Sudbury city councillors. (Yvon Theriault/CBC)

After a flood of complaints, Sudbury city councillors spent some time Monday night debating a proposed permit fee for backyard fires.

Right now, it doesn't cost anything to light a bonfire in Sudbury — but city staff want to charge $50 for a permit, and then $25 each year for a renewal.

More than 4,000 people signed petitions against the proposed changes.

Coun. Robert Kirwan said he supports the idea of revising the current bylaw, but he's not big on the fee.

"I really think it's not worth the $10,000 that we anticipated in revenue for all the distress it's going to cause, especially in the rural areas where [bonfires are] a way of life," he said.

Currently, people don't have to pay anything to have a backyard fire, and councillors like Fern Comier want to keep it that way.

"I am not in favour of the fee aspect of this whatsoever," he said.

"I don't find that conducive at all to trying to get people to comply with anything."

Another discussion on proposed changes to backyard fires will take place at Sudbury city hall on May 31.

with files from Olivia Stefanovich

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