Gillian Montgomery (left) and Annie Gibson of Vancouver Island Surfrider Foundation bring a mountain of plastic bags tied to a suit to a Victoria council meeting. (Black Press file photo)

Oak Bay not moving forward with plastic bag ban

The committee of the whole was unanimous in wanting to hold off until results are known

The question of a single-use plastic bag ban is popping up on council agendas all over Vancouver Island, with Victoria and Saanich considering a ban, and Nanaimo councillors voting in favour of banning the bags during a special council meeting on Monday night (Dec.11).

Victoria city council sent a letter to the CRD and neighbouring municipalities hoping to gain regional support and provide consistency. The CRD subsequently distributed to the municipalities a Draft Model Bylaw for Single Use Plastic Bag Ban.

Oak Bay discussed the issue at Monday night’s committee of the whole meeting.

As both staff and financial resources will be required to move this project forward, the committee was presented with a staff recommendation to refer the issue to council’s next priority setting session so it may be considered in the context of other council priorities.

Mayor Nils Jensen suggested a more wait-and-see approach. “Whether or not it is going to be successful is something we may want to allow Victoria to find out before we go down the road of looking at this. I talked to Mayor Lisa Helps and the city will have a review a year or two years after the bylaw goes in. That will allow us to monitor their success, or lack there of, before we embark. It is very kind of them to be the regional guinea pigs. I think we should bring this back on the agenda once Victoria has done their review.”

Coun. Tara Ney echoed the mayor’s recommendation: “I think we should wait to see if they can collect the evidence to show that it is changing consumer behaviour in reducing the carry-out consumption. I think an educational approach is more appropriate at this time than a regulatory approach.”

The committee of the whole unanimously approved the motion to receive the information but not act on it at this time.


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

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