Kamloops councillor says court decision quashing plastic-bag ban just another hurdle to overcome

Dale Bass says city will need to get approval for bylaw from environment minister, as per B.C. Court of Appeal ruling

The Kamloops councillor who proposed a ban on plastic carry-out bags in Kamloops is disappointed with a court decision quashing Victoria’s bylaw, but anticipates it will be just one more hurdle to overcome.

The B.C. Court of Appeal, the province’s highest court, has ruled the City of Victoria did not get appropriate approval from the environment minister before enacting the bylaw.

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The Canadian Plastic Bag Association has been fighting the ban, arguing municipalities don’t have the authority to regulate the environment.

Though the ban was first upheld in B.C. Supreme Court, the association appealed and won.

Kamloops and other B.C. municipalities are modelling their plastic-bag ban regulations after Victoria’s policy.

However, Coun. Dale Bass said the courts did not take issue with the ban itself, but with the process that led to the bylaw.

She noted public will around the issue continues to mount.

“I’m anticipating the next step will be to speak with the minister of environment (George Heyman) and determine the appropriate process,” Bass told KTW.

“Let’s also remember, we have a minority government being propped up by the Green party. The Green party is the green party of the environment, as they like to be called. I just see this as just another hurdle that’s being thrown out.”

Meanwhile, use of the plastic bag remains legal in Kamloops for now.

The city is going back to the public for another round of consultations, this time with a draft bylaw to ban carry-out bags and charge fees for alternatives in tow.

The plan is to have the ban in place by next spring.

© Kamloops This Week

 


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