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‘Voluminous’ public response prompts City of Nanaimo to delay animal responsibility bylaw

Bylaw readings deferred to January to allow time for public consultation
The City of Nanaimo will defer readings of a draft animal responsibility bylaw until the new year to allow time for public engagement. (Stock photo)

The public’s bark has temporarily put the bite on the city’s draft animal responsibility bylaw.

The bylaw was to be brought before Nanaimo city council at Monday’s council meeting after its draft was presented to a governance and priorities committee meeting Nov. 9, but in the days and hours leading up to Monday’s meeting, the city got an earful of public opinion on the bylaw.

Coun. Don Bonner proposed a motion to remove the bylaw review from that night’s council meeting agenda.

“Due to the amount of e-mails that we’ve received, phone calls and other items of communication, I think it would be appropriate if we pulled this item to deal with and take into account what we’ve received so far plus look a the possibility of having more public engagement on some of our portals,” Bonner said.

RELATED: Nanaimo city councillors looking at bylaw that would keep cats from roaming neighbourhoods

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog concurred with Bonner’s assessment of the amount of public feedback.

“I love the word voluminous. I don’t get to use the word that often, but that certainly describes the level of correspondence council’s received in the last few hours,” Krog said.

The draft bylaw relates to animal welfare and responsibilities of pet owners. It includes new regulations that would limit numbers of pets per household and prevent cats from roaming neighbourhoods.

Council unanimously adopted a motion to delay the reading of the bylaw until city staff have to the opportunity to ask for feedback about the bylaw on the city’s public engagement web page. Input will be compiled as part of a staff report that will be presented when the bylaw comes back before council in January.

“Today’s been a banner day for e-mails,” Bonner said later in the meeting. “I just happened to check my city e-mail and I … think the only way we could get more e-mails is if we passed the animal control bylaw on the corner of Opal and Rock City roads.”

City of Nanaimo looking at bylaw that would keep cats from roaming neighbourhoods…

Posted by Nanaimo News Bulletin on Saturday, November 14, 2020
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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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