KFA wades in on ATV issue

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Sir: The Kent Federation of Agriculture would like to comment on recent media reports on the proposed ATV bylaw. Municipal staff have been tasked to report on the feasibility of several of the proposed components. Municipal staff will have to look no further than Province of Ontario Legislation for answers as to the powers and options of a Municipality.

  • “Consider license fee and liability waiver.” The answer to this proposal can be found in the Ontario Municipal Act, which states, “Restriction, motor vehicles 50. A municipality does not have power to pass a bylaw establishing a system of permits for motor vehicles or trailers, as those terms are defined in the Highway Traffic Act, similar to the system under Part II of that Act.  2001, c. 25, s. 50.”
  • “Investigate the possibility of increase fines for trespassing.” Trespass is defined in and is subject to the provisions of the Trespass to Property Act, which is provincial legislation. Municipalities have no jurisdiction to modify or regulate; enforcement is a policing responsibility.
  • Municipal staff are also directed to “create measurable criteria to evaluate the merits of the bylaw at the end of the trial period.” This directive calls for a positive report which would ignore the demerits, including the cost of signs to identify permitted or prohibited roads, municipal liability costs, increased roadway maintenance, negative interaction between ATVs and other roadway traffic, staff time to determine appropriate roads and write the bylaw, trespass issues, the inability to differentiate between the good and bad ATVers in the countryside and other issues that will arise.

For more information please contact Kent Federation of Agriculture vice president Harry Lawson at 519-355-4134

Kathy Delanghe

Kent Federation of Agriculture

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