North Okanagan expected to move forward with plastic bag ban despite court ruling

Click to play video: 'Court ruling won’t stop North Okanagan plastic bag ban: regional district chair' Court ruling won’t stop North Okanagan plastic bag ban: regional district chair
Watch: Why a court ruling throwing out Victoria’s plastic bag bylaw isn’t expected to impact plans to ban single use plastic shopping bags in the North Okanagan. – Jul 16, 2019

A court may have quashed the City of Victoria’s bylaw banning single use plastic shopping bags but that’s not deterring the North Okanagan from working to put their own similar ban in place.

The provincial court of appeal ruled Victoria needed to seek provincial approval to go ahead.

The chair of the Regional District of North Okanagan points out that the court threw out the bylaw not because of a legal problem with the idea of banning plastic bags but because, in the court’s eyes, the city overstepped its jurisdiction.

READ MORE: B.C.’s top court throws out Victoria’s plastic bag ban, says city needs provincial green light

Kevin Acton believes that distinction means the regional district should be able to go ahead with its plans to ban single-use plastic shopping bags in the North Okanagan as long as it receives support for the plan from the province.

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“We really understand the court ruling that the province should be consulted so that’s where we will head, but at the same time, we have sent a letter to the province saying that we would really like them to take the lead on this,” Acton said.

READ MORE: Vancouver market tries to end plastic bag use by printing embarrassing messages

However, when asked if there are plans to ban the bags province-wide, the provincial Environment Ministry wouldn’t commit to taking specific action on plastic bags only saying it is “currently looking at ways to prevent plastic waste in our environment.”

Previously the Regional District of North Okanagan said its plastic checkout bag ban could come into effect as early as January 2020.

READ MORE: Questions about federal ban on single-use plastics

Now when a ban might be instituted here would depend heavily on when they can get provincial approval.

— with files from Sean Boynton and Simon Little

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