Businesses in Harrison Hot Springs will be able to share their thoughts with the Village of Harrison on what a new single-use plastics ban should look like for the community. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Harrison to develop single-use plastic bylaw in advance of federal legislation

The village is also considering adding water bottle refill stations at a cost of $18K

Harrison is inching forward with its plan to ban single-use plastics in the village, as staff are now beginning public consultation with businesses to see what kind of bylaw would work best for the community.

Staff were given direction to begin working on the bylaw Monday night (July 8) at the Harrison council meeting. The bylaw will only apply to commercial businesses, although council wasn’t exactly clear on what they wanted the rest of the bylaw to look like.

Coun. Gerry Palmer said the bylaw “doesn’t have to cover everything, but it could cover many single-use items.” He also added that he felt the bylaw could be extended to include items being brought onto the beach, although he said that would be hard to enforce.

“I don’t want to disadvantage our mechants if they can’t sell something that can be brought into the community and used on the beach,” he said.

Coun. Ray Hooper expressed his concerns about businesses having too many single-use plastic items left in their stores by the time the bylaw comes into play, particularly for restuarants who may refill things like straws. He also wanted to know if businesses would be compenstated if they had a great number of those items left in their stores by the time the bylaw came into effect. Community services coordinator Rhonda Schell said those concerns would be brought up with businesses during the consultation process. (It’s not clear how long the consultation will take, but it will likely go beyond the fall.)

The plastics bylaw comes after the federal government announced it would be implementing a single-use plastics ban across the country by 2021. Facio brought up the idea of a Harrison-specific ban at the June 17 council meeting, saying that it was a “health concern” for the community.

The federal legislation will likely target consumer-based single-use plastics like bags, straws and cutlerly, as well as focusing on plastic manufacturers, and is set to come into effect for 2021.

Coun. Michie Vidal asked if Harrison would be considering alternatives for its garbage and recycling bags, but Schell said that would likely be included under the federal legislation.

RELATED: Liberals to announce plan to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021

A proposal for two new water bottle refill stations, also spearheaded during the June 17 council meeting, was also on the table Monday.

The $18,000 project would see two refill stations installed in the village. One would replace the water fountain on the beach washroom building and would include a water fountain and refill station, while the other would be installed in Rendall Park and include a freestanding refill station, water fountain and pet fountain.

The project cost would include the purchase of the stations as well as the install, and is proposed to be paid for out of general taxation.

Hooper asked if it was possible to have this project paid for through the resort municipality infrastructure (RMI) funds, which the province gives Harrison every three years to pay for tourism infrastructure. Hooper was advised that Harrison had already sent in its list of projects for the RMI funding, and therefore couldn’t add the refill stations to the list.

Water bottle refill stations were initially considered as one of the projects that could be paid for by RMI funds, but was ultimately voted down by council as many felt it would take customers away from local businesses.

RELATED: Outdoor rink, lagoon improvements on the agenda for Harrison

Coun. Samantha Piper, who was on the committee that originally suggested water bottle refill stations be included in the RMI projects, had to control her frustration at Monday’s meeting.

“I’m going to be as polite as I can, because I’m a little frustrated,” she said. “I don’t know if there was enough appreciation for the work that was in that (resort development strategy) document.”

“I’m a little frustrated that we have to look at tax dollars to now pay for this, because we missed an opportunity.”

She added that the installation “comes in line with that single-use plastic movement.”

Palmer had voted against the water bottle refill stations before, and said that he was wary of approving them now.

“If we voted against it before, if that was a reasonably good, logical decision, then the only reason we’re changing is because we’re talking about the single-use plastics policy,” he said. “But we’re a ways from that … so it seems to me, early to be looking at spending $18,000.”

Ultimately, council decided to defer the report to the first financial planning meeting, where they would then decide whether to fund the $18,000 refill stations from tax dollars for the 2020 fiscal year.



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

Tourism Chilliwack rolls out mobile visitors’ centre in an RV called Winston

Part of an innovative recovery plan following the hit local tourism has taken from COVID-19

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

Missing Chilliwack woman has not been in contact with family for several months

The RCMP are asking for the public’s help in locating 35-year-old Chantelle Chenier of Chilliwack

Rescuers halt Coquihalla River search due to darkness, after reports of person in river

No information to indicate a child is involved, RCMP state, after this information surfaced on social media

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read