North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring has provided an explanation of the situation in Crofton. (Photo by Robert Barron/Cowichan Valley Citizen)

North Cowichan Mayor assesses drive-by celebration situation in Crofton

Siebring says bylaw officer’s response to a complaint routinely done all the time

The Mayor of North Cowichan has weighed in on the volatile situation in Crofton pertaining to a bylaw officer’s response to a noise complaint with a visit to the residences of truck drivers involved in drive-by birthday celebrations in the community.

Al Siebring made it clear no one was issued a ticket and nothing had been shut down.

However, the possibility of a fine for a similar occurrence prompted drivers to contemplate whether it would be wise to continue participating. The risk was considered too great to assume the popular celebrations would keep going.

Related: COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Crofton

But some members of the group are resolving to find another way to still give folks the much-needed joyous occasions they’ve come to know and love since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The perceived end of the celebrations drew swift and decisive outrage from a large percentage of Crofton’s population.

Many people have been lobbying for an alternate solution while spreading the word far and wide.

Tony Lamley posted an item about what transpired on the Dr. Bonnie Henry Fan Club Facebook page that garnered 112 reactions – all sad or angry emojis plus 27 comments, he pointed out, and only one in moderate support of understanding how noise can affect people sleeping who are on shift work.

Following is Siebring’s response to the extreme anger most Crofton residents expressed on Facebook:

“North Cowichan’s ‘decision’ was simply to follow up on a Bylaw complaint, like we routinely do, with dozens of complaints every week,” he pointed out. “A determination was made that some activities were potentially in contravention of our Noise Bylaw. Folks were made aware of that bylaw. They weren’t “threatened” – although I concede that being informed that repeated violations of the bylaw, (and repeated complaints), could involve fines – I understand how that could be perceived as a threat.

”But those are simply statements of fact, statements that are routinely made in pretty much every case where our Bylaw Compliance Officers are informed of – and confirm – a potential violation. No tickets were issued. Nothing’s been ‘shut down.’ People are simply being asked, to echo Bonnie Henry’s words, to ‘be kind’ in recognition that some folks aren’t all-in on the excessive noise. How the community responds to that request is really not up to me.”

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