New laws, old issues

Do bylaws take away freedoms?

A new Property Maintenance Bylaw in Golden has once again brought into question just what rights a person has to do with land and property they own.

I could not place all of the regulations from bylaw number 1287 in this editorial but some of the highlights involved graffiti, rubbish and keeping items like abandoned vehicles, household appliances or furniture, “or any parts thereof in or on any highways, sidewalk, ditch, parking lot, waterway, park or other public place, or on or in any open place on private property, except in a receptacle, facility or within a site intended or designated by the Town or a government body for that purpose, and in accordance with any applicable bylaw or other enactment.”

Part of this new bylaw deals with the clean up of a site. After a complaint has been laid and town officials  will be sent out to investigate. If the officials deem the area in need of the clean up then they will notify the owner they have to remove whatever the complaint was about. If they do not do so in the time allotted then the Town will have the right to come on your land, remove the issue and charge you for it.

So does the Town have the right to tell you as a resident what you can or cannot have on your property?

This comes down to a notion of what freedom really is. The police have to have a reason to come on to your property and can not just enter a house to have a look around.

In this case part of the process will being with the complaint. If one person living near a house has a problem with what another person has on their land, should they have the right to try and have the “junk” removed? If I am not hurting anyone and just happen to enjoy old junker cars should the Town have the right to take them away and then charge me for them. The simple answer from the town to this question is yes they do in certain cases. As part of the Town charter and now the bylaw  the Town has taken on a responsibility. After talking to an official at the Town office it was explained that this bylaw was brought in place after a great deal of debate and thought. Judgement will be used in each individual case and people will have the right to go to the council and defend the reasoning why something is on their property.

Residents in the town have to use judgement now as well. This bylaw is something teetering on an edge. It can be used for the extreme cases where someone has so many rotting cars and other junk in their back yard that it could eventually be a health, environmental or even a financial risk for people around them.

But it could also become something petty which will eat up representatives from the Town’s time which could be spent on more important issues. Like any new or old law, common sense and balance are required.

Don’t abuse, just use in the right way.

As for the cry of freedom, well that is a controlled dream in reality. You are not permitted to do many things in society. Laws are there in everything you do. When you are out on a walk, you are not supposed to jay walk. When you drive there are speed limits . You cannot just grow whatever you want in your house and think the police will not take notice.

New laws always cause issues. Not everyone will agree with something that they see as infringing on their freedom to do what they want with something they own. Simply put we are in a world where we all have limits on our rights to do what we want, when we want to. If the law is used properly the only things that will get hurt here should be garbage and rusty metal which comes down to the people who now have the authority to use the law. That has to be their goal. Use the law right and only when the extreme is in front of your face because situations can do get out of hand on a regular basis when laws are involved.

Darryl Crane


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

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

Jake Jeannotte, age six, holds a Whisky Jack – another name for Gray Jay, Canada Jay or Camp Robber – a common bird that can be seen on the bird count. 
Bird count back for 31st year

There are some slight modifications to the bird count to accomodate for COVID-19

One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Paramedic Jason Manuel, dressed in PPE, inspects an ambulance at Station 341 on Nov. 30. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Second wave, twice the anxiety; Okanagan paramedics reflect on pandemic from the front line

‘I don’t know who that (next) person is going to be, I don’t want it to be me or my family’: Paramedic

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

It was an opening day filled with blue skies, sun and COVID-19 protocols at Vernon’s SilverStar Mountain Resort Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Passholders enjoy sunny opening day at Silver Star Mountain

Resort staff say parking reservations, COVID-19 protocols went smoothly Friday, Dec. 4

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Interior Health says Salmo’s COVID-19 cases have been contained. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Interior Health: Salmo’s COVID-19 cases are contained

Every person who tested positive has recovered

Most Read