Duncan – Re: illegal garbage dumping I agree with your editorial comment that “the Cowichan Valley is not a garbage pit”. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth. However, I disagree with the suggestion that the solution to illegal dumping is more bureaucratic regulation and government involvement. All four local governments in this Valley already have the regulatory power to deal with these problems. The reality is that they do not do so effectively. The cost and complication associated with the prosecution of bylaw infringements means that the legal remedy is rarely pursued.
It costs a local government thousands of dollars to prosecute an infraction that might result in a fine of a few hundred. Many of the fines remain uncollected because the offenders are frequently judgment proof. Excessive regulation results in a focus on rules and an avoidance of common sense, reasonable behaviour and good manners.
I have some familiarity with the subject. As a lawyer, I have prosecuted and defended bylaw infraction cases for close to 40 years. Community involvement is a far more effective solution than regulation.
Something as simple and inexpensive as placing large dumpsters in easily accessible
and central locations where refuse could be dumped for free, might be a start.
This does not require the hiring of expensive consultants and the conducting of various studies. We do not need another Eco-Depot. The cost of such an initiative is miniscule in comparison to the cost of more bureaucratic regulation and largely ineffective enforcement.
Most residents of the Cowichan Valley take pride in our place. Let’s provide a practical incentive for the small minority that presently does not, to do the same. Let’s “Clean Up Cowichan”.