North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring has started fulfilling his election promise to remove outdated and obsolete bylaws from the municipality’s books with 52 waving goodbye.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But, as the municipality no longer has a hand in regulating such behaviours, council deemed the bylaw no longer valid and repealed it at its meeting on Dec. 4.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unnecessary bylaws were discovered, some of which date back to 1914, and they were officially abolished as irrelevant, outdated, and/or obsolete.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Needless to say, the municipality determined the bylaw is no longer applicable in current times.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“I was convinced at the time [of the election] that there were a number of bylaws that were outdated or no longer serving our interests as a municipality,” Siebring said.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

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Parents not giving up, after official search for Manning Park hiker suspended again

‘We are determined, but eventually the money is going to run out.’

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness watches the results on election night. The ex-Liberal’s tumultuous campaign and the narrow margin for victory ahead of the mail-in ballot count leaves the future of the riding’s seat in limbo for at least the next week. (Facebook/Laurie Throness)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Future for incumbent Throness uncertain as riding awaits results

Chilliwack-Kent candidate hopeful, resigned waiting on final count

File Photo
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Agassiz Seniors Community

First declared outbreak in Agassiz-Harrison since pandemic began

The family and friends of Abbotsford resident Kaitlyn Cassels have launched a GoFundMe for her after she suffered serious injuries following a bad fall on Thursday night. (Submitted)
GoFundMe created for Abbotsford woman after horrible fall

19-year-old Kaitlyn Cassels suffers many injuries after falling 27 feet off Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge

A pair of crashes on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack have snarled traffic in both directions.
Pair of crashes snarl traffic between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Traffic delays eastbound, large westbound backup

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Most Read