GF council works on new deer feeding bylaw
Grand Forks city council gave first, second and third reading to a new deer feeding bylaw, Nov. 25.
The new bylaw states that no individual can provide food to deer, either by handfeeding or leaving food out for the deer to eat. The bylaw was amended to include salt licks under the term ‘food.’ The bylaw also states that residents will not allow another individual to feed the deer while they are on their property or residence.
The bylaw does not include gardens grown for personal use, farm operations or ornamental plants.
This new bylaw replaces the old bylaw (1884), which is being repealed and went through the first three readings at the same meeting. The biggest difference between the two bylaws is that the new bylaw (1967) allows for more action to be taken against violators.
In the original bylaw, violators would receive a warning letter from the city and repeated offenders would be asked to come to an open council meeting. The new bylaw allows offenders to be ticked under the new ticketing bylaw.
Councillor Michael Wirischagin raised concern that the city hadn’t given the original bylaw a chance to work.
“Are we repealing something we haven’t tried,” said Wirischagin, noting that the original bylaw focused on educating the public and that they don’t know it hasn’t worked because it wasn’t given a chance.
Chief administrative officer Doug Allin said that the new bylaw will still focus on education first, but that there will be a choice to enforce the bylaw.
“The old bylaw was toothless,” said Coun. Gary Smith. “I think it cleans up the bylaw.”
Both the first readings for repealing the original bylaw and the first readings of the new bylaw were passed by council with only Wirischagin opposing.
Bylaw enforcement won’t start until a WildSafe officer is in place.