Bylaw Officers enforce the City’s bylaws on a complaint or proactive basis, as issues of concern emerge in the community.
The City of Dawson Creek employs the Bylaw Dispute Adjudication System, which allows the City and the recipients to deal with disputes covering alleged bylaw violations at the local level rather than through the Provincial Court System. This ensures that all minor bylaw matters are resolved through a streamlined process. This not only saves taxpayer dollars, but also allows provincial and municipal time and resources to be used more efficiently and effectively. As well, those challenging violation notices will receive enhanced and more convenient service through a streamlined and efficient system. Learn more about the Adjudication System.
Making a complaint:
- Bylaw complaints may be made by telephone or in writing to Bylaw Enforcement.
- You must identify yourself when making the complaint. The City will not accept anonymous complaints, however, the identity of every complainant is kept confidential unless the complainant has agreed to be identified.
- When you call, you should be prepared to provide as much detail as possible about the complaint (address of property involved, description of motor vehicle with licence plate number if possible, date when violation first observed, detailed description of violation).
The City’s Bylaw Enforcement Officer will investigate your complaint as soon as possible. Where complaints relate to matters other than parking issues, you will be advised of the outcome of our investigations, i.e. whether the City can validate your complaint, what action has been taken, deadlines given, conclusion of file, etc.
The City uses a variety of enforcement measures. The most preferred is to simply talk to people who are violating the City’s bylaws, explain the need for the bylaws and obtain voluntary compliance.
Where the City cannot easily meet with people, warning letters will either be mailed to residences, hand delivered or left on vehicles. These letters will explain the nature of the violation and ask for compliance by a specific date. Follow up investigations will occur to ensure compliance. If compliance is not achieved formal legal proceedings may commence or, under the Bylaw Offence Notice Bylaw, a ticket(s) may be issued. For parking violations, a bylaw offence notice may be issued without notice.
The City has a high success rate in obtaining voluntary compliance with City bylaws, however, there are always a few people who prove more difficult to convince. You may not always feel that your concerns are being addressed quickly enough, however, where there is no voluntary compliance, there are formal legal requirements that must be followed and, unfortunately, they can take time.
The City policy titled Bylaw Enforcement Guidelines states the following:
The Council of the City of Dawson Creek directs that:
- Reasonable attempts shall be made to secure voluntary compliance with Bylaws prior to initiating any manner of enforcement action.
- Enforcement action with regard to Bylaws shall only be entertained under circumstances where there exists a clearly identified complaint who is directly affected by the alleged violation, and further, where the complainant is the City itself, only under circumstances where a lack of compliance represents a real and substantial harm to the City’s interest.
- In administering Bylaw Enforcement, ALL complainants shall be advised that the substantive details of their complaints will be made known to the alleged violators, but the complainant’s identities will be received, and held, by the City in absolute confidence unless required to be revealed through any ensuing legal process.
- If the complainant, whose identity is required to be made known before enforcement action may proceed, or continue, refuses to have their identity revealed, any action required by, or resulting from their complaint will be abandoned.
A list of the most commonly referred to bylaws can be found here.
Bylaw Enforcement Staff
SPCA Enforcement Staff
Animal Control Officer
Phone: (250) 719-7505
Building Inspection Staff
Phone: (250) 784-3654
Fax: (250) 782-3352