Gibsons council moves ahead on bag ban

Gibsons council has voted to move forward with a “check out bag” bylaw modeled on a single-use plastic bag ban drafted by Victoria council that was subsequently derailed by the courts.

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The BC Court of Appeal delivered a ruling in favour of the Canadian Plastic Bag Association’s challenge of the bylaw on July 11, just after Gibsons mayor Bill Beamish introduced a notice of motion on a similar bylaw, which was debated at the July 16 council meeting.

At that meeting, Beamish said he didn’t think the court ruling was reason to hold off, because the Town’s bylaw wouldn’t go into force until 2020.

“Other communities are keeping theirs on the table with the expectation that Victoria is going to appeal,” he said. “If we don’t give some lead time to our businesses then we’re going to lose another year because they’re going to have to replenish stock for 2020.”

Beamish said the business owners he’s spoke with are supportive, as long as they’re able to use up any bags they already have on hand, and he wants Gibsons to be ready.

Council backed Beamish’s motion, which calls for the draft bylaw to be sent out for public comment and input from the affected businesses before it’s considered for a first reading.

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