Tuesday, February 23, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 8 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“We’re not punishing the good kids, we’re punishing the bad kids.”
- Councillor David Cole  
- on the curfew bylaw, which   
has now passed two readings   


Dissenting opinions kept a curfew bylaw from becoming a reality in council on Tuesday, February 16, as unanimous approval was needed to pass the bylaw in one night, but the bylaw is expected to be passed and come into effect on Tuesday, March 2, the next scheduled regular council meeting.
Council was presented with a proposed curfew bylaw, based largely on Pincher Creek's curfew, and once again debated certain details within the bylaw.
The bylaw states that no child under the age of 17 can be in a public place within the municipality between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. unless they have proper adult guardianship or a legitimate excuse.
Traveling directly to and from paid or volunteer work, working a job that requires being in a public place, or traveling directly home from an organized event that was properly supervised by adults are all considered legitimate excuses.
Fines of $25 for a first offence, $200 for a second, and $300 for each afterward are to be levied on the child, while fines of $100 for a first offence, $200 for a second, and $300 for each afterward are to be levied on the parent or guardian.
No one can be imprisoned for breaking these rules, states the proposed bylaw, but a peace officer, which includes the RCMP and the bylaw officer, can warn the child to go home or take them home if they refuse.
Council initiated the curfew bylaw process in 2009, in response to vandalism issues throughout the community, and particularly in Flumerfelt Park.
Mayor John Irwin opposed the proposed bylaw because of the chosen age limit. He said that a curfew should not apply to 16-year-olds, because they can have driver's licences and are legally allowed to operate their vehicles.
Councillor Gary Taje opposed the provision that allows for the fining of guardians. He said that the proposed bylaw does very little to punish offending youth, but instead punishes parents who may or may not be responsible.
He said that parents should not be considered negligent because they do not lock their child's room and bar their windows to keep them from sneaking out. He said that he would be happier if the bylaw punished the wrongdoer instead of assuming that any parent who doesn't know where their child is should be considered automatically negligent.
"We're looking to punish someone for doing nothing," he said.
The remaining five members of council voted in favour of the bylaw, but it could not be passed in a single meeting without unanimous consent.
Councillor David Cole said that if a 16-year-old is out driving for a legitimate reason, then that is fine according to the bylaw. "We're not punishing the good kids," he said, "we're punishing the bad ones." He said that it gives the RCMP a tool they can use to combat vandalism.
... See the February 23 issue of the Pass Herald for the full story.
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   Volume 80 - Issue 8 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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