Ucluelet brings in bylaw ambassadors

Bylaw enforcement is making a comeback in Ucluelet.

The district kicked off a new $15,000 bylaw ambassador program last month putting bylaw officers on patrol in Ucluelet for the first time since 2012.

Two bylaw ambassadors have been hired and each will spend roughly 20 hours a week patrolling the community and bringing locals and visitors up to speed on local laws.

Mayor Dianne St. Jacques said the ambassadors will be focused on providing education rather than dishing out fines.

 â€œTo ticket would be a last resort, it’s more just to give people information,” St. Jacques said. “It’s definitely not a hammer; it’s about educating people and getting them to do the right thing.”

Coun. Sally Mole noted locals raised concern over the lack of bylaw enforcement last summer.

“There was quite a bit of discussion on illegal camping, noisy parties, and dogs on the loose,” she said adding fines would, and should, be rare. 

 â€œI don’t think they’ll be any heavy handedness, unless it’s absolutely necessary, but I think that a gentle approach will go a long way”

Coun. Mayco Noel agreed and said the ambassadors will bring “education of bylaws, extra eyes on the streets and a general presence,” to Ucluelet’s summer season. 

“I supported having bylaw officers in place to provide education and awareness to those living in the community and visiting,” he said.

“The Initiative is education not enforcement. I understand the community wants to see a presence but not a strong hand.”

Coun. Randy Oliwa suggested kicking the program off in May allowed locals to become familiar with their new ambassadors in time for summer.

“There will be a communication initiative to inform and familiarize the community on what the program is all about,” he said.

“This fall, council, together with staff will review the program and discuss its effectiveness. We believe that it will be a valuable program and look forward to hearing from the community, we want your feedback.”

He believes the new program will be a welcomed addition to Ucluelet’s summertime landscape.  

“The community has been very clear to council that they would like to see some degree of By-law enforcement back in the community, especially May through September,” he said.

 â€œRealizing we are limited in funding, council did its homework and came up with a strategy that would serve the community but not add substantially to our administrative expenses. We simply cannot afford a full time bylaw enforcement officer year-round.”

Oliwa added the new ambassadors would work in partnership with local police.

“Another tangible with this program is how our bylaw officers will work together from time to time with our local RCMP,” he said.

“It is a great example of our district and RCMP building a partnership by supporting each other and establishing clear roles and responsibilities.”

Ucluelet RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Jeff Swann said he is thrilled with the new initiative.

“It’s so appreciated,” Swann said.

“We have a large influx of tourism in town, that’s not to say it’s all bad, but it just means more accidents, more incidents, (and) more people…For the district of Ucluelet to hire two bylaw officers for the summer is phenomenal.”

Swann said a bylaw ambassador was out and about over the May long-weekend and helped police oversee an incident free kick-off to the West Coast’s busy season.  

“The bylaw officer that was working over May long-weekend worked closely in conjunction with us,” Swann said.

“I communicated several times with him about any issues or concerns, or areas to patrol, and there was some great public relations work done there by bylaw too.”

St. Jacques said the bylaw ambassador program would be reviewed after the summer to determine its effectiveness and whether it will return next year.  

“There’s a possibility too that we’ll go to a year-round (program),” she said.

 

Andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Just Posted

District of Ucluelet and Yuułuʔiłʔath First Nation announce fire protection agreement

“It’s a fantastic start about helping our neighbours.”

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Most Read