North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring has started fulfilling his election promise to remove outdated and obsolete bylaws from the municipality’s books with 52 waving goodbye. (File photo)

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

After more than 100 years in the books, the Municipality of North Cowichan on Vancouver Island has decided it no longer requires its “public morals” bylaw.

Adopted by the council at the time on July 23, 1914, the public morals bylaw was intended to help North Cowichan regulate profanity, immoral behaviour, or lewd plays or skits.

But, as the municipality no longer has a hand in regulating such behaviours, council deemed the bylaw no longer valid and repealed it at its meeting on Dec. 4.

Since early this year, staff has been busy conducting a comprehensive audit of all of North Cowichan’s bylaws to identify ones that are no longer needed.

Through this process, 52 unnecessary bylaws were discovered, some of which date back to 1914, and they were officially abolished as irrelevant, outdated, and/or obsolete.

Mayor Al Siebring said when he was elected last year that he intended to begin a regulatory review of North Cowichan’s bylaws to determine which of them are obsolete and need to be struck from the books, and the abolition of the bylaws last week was the beginning of the fulfillment of that promise.

RELATED STORY: ROOSTERS DEFENDED IN NORTH COWICHAN

Another of the now abolished rules is the “streets and roads” bylaw, which was also adopted by council in 1914, under which the local government was responsible for regulating running or racing on roadways, and ensuring that pedestrians use the right side of the road.

The bylaw also regulated the age of people selling newspapers on the street, and the speed limit for horses travelling on a road.

Needless to say, the municipality determined the bylaw is no longer applicable in current times.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN’S NEW MAYOR READY TO BRING CHANGE

“I was convinced at the time [of the election] that there were a number of bylaws that were outdated or no longer serving our interests as a municipality,” Siebring said.

“It turns out I was right. It’s great to be getting rid of things like the ‘wide tires’ bylaw, which made specific reference to the permissible size of wagon tires.”

Other bylaws that were eliminated in the repeal motion include the “fence viewers” bylaw, in which the municipality would appoint people to be fence-viewers to watch fences encroaching on adjacent properties, and another that prohibits youth and girls under 16 from entering pool halls without parental consent.

“It’s a puzzle to me,” Siebring said with a grin, “why there were separate categories for youth and girls in the same bylaw.”

RELATED STORY: RESIDENTS TO PRESENT PETITION FOR TREE-PROTECTION BYLAW IN NORTH COWICHAN

Also eliminated was a bylaw that stated “no person shall ride or drive any beast at a pace exceeding six miles per hour.” Siebring said that removing the unnecessary bylaws is a big win, but there is still a substantial amount (2,149) of bylaws in existence.”

He said that while the bulk of its work is done, the regulatory review committee will not be disbanded in the event that other obsolete bylaws are uncovered which may need review before the end of this council’s term.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.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

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

Gabrielle Clarke is an art therapist in Golden who works in mixed media art. Clarke’s art will be on display downtown at the Go-Lab. (Gabrielle Clarke photo)
Mixed media arts show comes to Go-Lab

Clarke’s art will be on display until Nov. 6

The view from Donald Bridge, looking east on Highway 1, about 28 km north of Golden at 11:50 a.m. Oct. 18. (DriveBC)
UPDATE: Expect delays on highway east of Revelstoke

A vehicle incident occurred near the Quartz Creek bridge

Advance voting is already underway in the 42nd general election in British Columbia. Election day is Oct. 24.(Black Press files photo)
QUIZ: Are you ready for the B.C. election?

Take this short test and see how much you know about elections and voting

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a report of an electrical fire at the emergency response centre operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, just before 5:30 p.m. The fire displaced shelter residents who have been set up with services at the Vernon Recreation Complex. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon shelter residents find refuge in hotels, motels, recreation complex after fire

Electrical fire at Turning Points Collaborative Society’s emergency response centre on 37th Street

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna man charged after allegedly stealing senior’s car

Elderly woman’s car was stolen while she was shopping

Salmon Arm RCMP say residents have been receiving calls from fraudster claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP warn of Publishers Clearing House telephone scam

Police say scammer requests fee to claim sweepstakes prizes

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Osoyoos Fire Department responded to reports of a vehicle engulfed in flames Sunday (Oct. 18) evening at a Lambert Court residence. (Osoyoos Fire Department)
Osoyoos Fire Department knock down car fire near home

Blaze was ‘really close’ to becoming a structure fire

Colin James put on a great show at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds as part of the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. But his Okanagan tour for 2020 has been postponed until 2021. (Photo by Terry Farrell)
COVID-19 cancels more Okanagan concerts

The Contenders and Colin James postponed until 2021

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Most Read