No room for a compromise?

June 23, 2016   ·   0 Comments

BASED ON REPORTS from last Monday’s meeting of Orangeville Council, there’s precious little consensus as to proper regulation of backyard barbecues and bonfires.

On one side there’s the position taken by Councillor Sylvia Bradley, chair of the committee reviewing the current wood burning bylaw.

“This is not a backyard wood burning issue,” she told the Citizen.  “This is a clean air initiative.  People have the right to clean air and smoke does not recognize property lines.  We have a responsibility as a society to ensure people can breathe and to protect our environment.”

Meanwhile, at least one councillor (Scott Wilson) and most the public filling the council chambers clearly see no need to tighten the current regulations, which mainly restrict the hours when such fires can be set.

Our suspicion is that if the proposed bylaw, with its requirement for expensive fire permits and closely regulated hours, passes, longtime fire chief Andy Macintosh is right in saying it will be unenforceable and lead to far too many complaints.

Perhaps all that’s really needed is a total ban on such fires to be imposed whenever poor local air quality requires it.

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