By Ryan King
Community News Reporter
SOUTHWEST COAST – The town of Channel-Port aux Basques, along with other municipalities in the region, have largely relied upon the local RCMP detachment for enforcement of rules and regulations. However a municipal enforcement officer is a staple for many towns around the province to help enforce bylaws set by their town councils.
To bridge this gap, the Western Regional Service Board is exploring a program which would see a municipal enforcement officer shared between communities.
“The Western Regional Service Board (WRSB) sent out an Expression of Interest to all municipalities in the fall of 2021 regarding a proposed Municipal Enforcement Program,” stated Town Manager Leon MacIsaac. “This was a new pilot program developed by the Western Regional Service Board to provide assistance to municipalities in Western Newfoundland with their enforcement needs.”
This expression of interest (EOI) was sent out to determine if there was interest from enough neighboring municipalities to proceed with the pilot project.
“Each town would evaluate whether the project would be a benefit to its operations. We have not had any correspondence on the level of response to the EOI, however. There would have to be support from more than a single municipality for the project to proceed.”
If such a program can get off the ground, MacIsaac said there are benefits.
“The Municipal Enforcement Office would provide for inspection and enforcement of all Town regulations and to ensure all proper permits are in place for various projects.”
Typically Municipal Enforcement Officers deal with a variety of issues besides permits. Last year’s advertisement for a Deer Lake position included acting as a town ambassador, assisting with tax collection, investigating any bylaw infractions, dealing with improper parking violations and issuing of warnings and/or fines as necessary.