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Nuisance bylaw input wanted

City hall has arranged two town hall meetings – one of them a phone event and the other a meeting at city hall – to get public feedback to its draft public nuisance bylaw, which among other things puts limits on protests and rallies.
A telephone town hall discussion is to be held on Wednesday Nov. 21 from 7-8 p.m., the city announced Tuesday.
Then a town hall meeting will be held in the big front lobby at city hall, the Galleria, on Saturday Nov. 24, 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
The city is also accepting comments from the public until Dec. 7 from people who can’t take part in either of the town hall events. People can take part in both of the town hall events if they want to, a news release said.
A final draft bylaw along with a report containing all of the feedback received by the city will go to council next year, it said.
The draft public nuisance bylaw, which would curb protests on city-owned property and also give the city more power over bothersome parties on private property, was approved in principle by city council in September.
Among its provision, it wouldn’t allow “camping, dwelling or construction of temporary structures” on city property unless the city has granted a permit.
The draft bylaw says breaches of the bylaw could bring a fine of up to $10,000 for a first offence for individuals and up to $25,000 for subsequent offences, with higher penalties for corporations.
It would also allow the city to bill the owner of property where a “nuisance party” occurs for what it costs the city to take control of the party, and to add this cost to the owner’s property taxes.
The two town halls will be a chance to learn more about the development of a new public nuisance bylaw, ask questions, voice concerns and support, and provide comments, the release said.
It said the purpose of the draft bylaw is to provide city bylaw enforcement officers and Guelph Police with “tools to address minor, unwanted behaviour or activities on city-owned property and, in certain limited cases, private land, without laying criminal charges.”
It said the draft bylaw provides tools to address: “activities that damage city facilities or land, including protests, rallies, or camping,” parties on private property “that may affect public safety,” and “activities that endanger the public using city facilities.”
To register in advance for each of the town halls contact Beth Bergevin at 519-822-1260, ext. 2042, or beth.bergevin@guelph.ca.
Participating in town halls not requirement to comment
Those unable to register in advance of the Nov. 21 phone event can call 1-855-269-4484 at 7 p.m. and participate.
Bus tickets and child care are available for registered participants in the Nov. 24 meeting at city hall, the release said.
People who can’t attend either town hall can send the city their comments by Dec. 7 in a variety of ways. These are: by email at public-input@guelph.ca; by voicemail by calling 519-822-1260, ext. 2422; by fax at 519-822-1751, or by mailing comments to: Public nuisance bylaw comments, City Hall, 1 Carden Street, Guelph, ON, N1H 3A1.
More information is available online at guelph.ca> city hall > by-laws & policies > draft by-laws, the release said.

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