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RDNO to Seek Provincial Approval on Single-Use Plastic Checkout Bag Ban

Posted Thursday, July 18, 2019

At the July 17, 2019, Regular Board of Directors meeting, the RDNO Board gave a Bylaw proposing to ban single-use plastic checkout bags second and third reading and will forward the Bylaw to the Ministry of Environment for their consideration. A bylaw requires four readings to come into effect, and, if the Ministry of Environment approves the Bylaw, the Board will then consider it for fourth reading/adoption.

The decision to consult the Ministry of Environment came after the ruling by the BC Court of Appeal which found that the City of Victoria’s bylaw which banned single-use checkout bags was not valid since the bylaw required provincial approval.

“We reviewed the court ruling and learned that there is a need to seek provincial approval in the process, so we are going to do just that,” said Kevin Acton, RDNO Board Chair. “We have to send many of our bylaws to the Inspector of Municipalities, so it’s not unlike a regular practice of ours.”

“In the meantime, we absolutely encourage people to bring their own reusable bags shopping with them voluntarily. While a bylaw may not be in effect, it’s a good idea to start building good habits,” said Acton.

Since the Bylaw is now dependent on the approval of the Ministry of Environment, the originally proposed timeline of having the ban in effect by January 2020 at the earliest may differ.

Ultimately, the RDNO Board would like for the Province to enforce a uniform provincial ban on single-use plastics and has sent a letter to the Ministry of Environment requesting this action.