Single-use plastics bylaw approved

A bylaw regulating certain single-use plastic products in Fort Frances was passed unanimously by council at last night’s meeting.

The bylaw will prohibit the distribution of single use plastic bags at checkout, prohibit single-use foam food containers for prepared foods such as styrofoam cups or takeout containers, and plastic drinking straws are to be available by request only.

Council’s operations and facilities, and planning and development committees determined that in order to balance the needs of the business community, the town would adopt a phased in approach for the bylaw.

It takes effect Jan. 1, 2021 but the fines created under the bylaw-ranging from $100 to $10,000-won’t be distributed until Jan. 1, 2022 for businesses who are not in compliance.

The phased in approach is meant to support consumers as they transition to new practices as well as allow businesses to exhaust their existing inventories.

Coun. Douglas Judson, who wrote the bylaw and brought it forward, said there’s been a high level of support for the initiative from a number of stakeholder organizations, environmental groups, youth, and the local business community.

Although, Scott Kreinke-Turvey, owner of Ink Spotz Apparel, opposed the bylaw, saying it would negatively effect the bottom line of his business.

He also stressed the environmental impacts certain reusable bags have on the environment.
Meanwhile, Mayor Caul said the Fort Frances’ new strategic plan, which will set the direction of the town for the new decade, is to be finalized soon.

Also at last night’s meeting, council heard a presentation from the town’s chief building official, Cody Vangel, regarding their site control plan.

The site control plan is one of the town’s tools that protects taxpayers and ensure projects are completed within the town.

At last night’s meeting, council also:

  • approved a recommendation re: Annual Energy Conservation and Demand Management Report
  • approved a report re: 2020 Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Funding Agreement – Colonization Road West
  • approved a report re: Lakeside Process Controls Support Agreement Renewal
  • approved a report re: Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce Concerns
  • approved a report re: 2020 Temporary Borrowing to Meet Current Expenditures
  • approved a report re: Interim Tax Levy for 2020 reffered a letter from the Diocese of Thunder Bay re: Sister Kennedy Centre to the Sister Kennedy Centre Board
  • approved a bylaw to authorize the borrowing of money to meet current expenditures of the Council of the Corporation of the Town of Fort Frances
  • approved a bylaw to provide for an interim tax levy in the year 2020 and to provide for penalty and interest to be charged on the unpaid balance for the late payment of said interim taxes, all as provided for in the Municipal Act
  • approved a bylaw to approve an agreement with Kenora Central Ambulance Communications Centre and Lake of the Woods District Hospital under the authority of the Ministry of Health for a communications service