Saanich will follow Victoria in banning single-use plastic bags by June 2020, but one councillor would like to see Saanich move faster.
“That’s 22 months away,” said Coun. Colin Plant. “This a little bit slower than I prefer. We could have been more ambitious.”
He made these comments Monday as council approved a timeline that clears the path for Saanich follow Victoria’s ban of single-use plastic bags.
Under the proposed timeline, Saanich council would give its bylaw first and second reading in January of 2019.
Consultations with the public and industry would then take place until April 2019, with council set to give the bylaw third reading by May.
Council would adopt the bylaw in June with an effective date in December 2019. Businesses would then have until June 2020 to use up the remaining plastic bags.
While Plant shied away from amending the proposed time line, he wondered why Saanich hesitated to follow Victoria, whose bylaw came into effect July 1.
Coun. Susan Brice said the proposed time line gives the incoming council a workable schedule, and Coun. Dean Murdock said the incoming council could always speed up the process.
Saanich’s push to ban single-use plastic bags picked up again after B.C.’s highest court ruled in favour of Victoria’s plastic bag ban.
The Canadian Plastic Bag Association had claimed the ban would “significantly impact” its members who manufacture and supply bags for the Victoria market, and lobbied against the move in January. But the court found otherwise.
Unless staff find any specific local issues, any future bylaw banning single-use plastic bags in Saanich would likely follow the central elements of Victoria’s bylaw, because of the many connections between both communities, as many businesses operate in both municipalities, while many residents shop across municipal borders.