‘Onslaught’ of weeds has Edmontonians asking for more bylaw enforcement

Weeds have some Edmontonians asking for more bylaw enforcement
WATCH ABOVE: For some Edmonton residents, it has been a summer of frustration. They say they are concerned that what they see as a core city service isn't up to par. Vinesh Pratap explains.

As a long-time resident of West Jasper Place, Irene Blain is proud of the place she calls home. That’s why the sight of properties overgrown with weeds leaves her upset.

“We’ve had an onslaught of problems,” Blain said.

READ MORE: City of Edmonton adds weed-identification feature to 311 app

She said complaints have been filed with Edmonton’s bylaw department, but that nothing has been done about it.

“It becomes very depressing.”

The city confirms the number of weed complaints has jumped nearly 60 per cent compared to 2018, with nearly 2,800 calls for action so far this year.

The issue is there are only six inspectors dedicated to weed complaints for 2019.

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In previous years, numbers reached as high as nine inspectors; the historic average is five, according to the city.

“The goal, I believe, is to respond within four business days of receiving that complaint,” Councillor Andrew Knack said.

Knack, who represents Ward 1, has asked for more information about bylaw response times for all types of complaints.

READ MORE: 2 Edmonton neighbourhoods snag dubious distinction of most nuisance property complaints in the city

“Do we really need more people?” Knack asked, “or can we allow just better technology to make them more efficient, more responsive?”

Meanwhile, Blaine is waiting for some kind of action as the days of summer count down.

“It starts getting out of hand — that’s what happened here.”