Saanich staff are still assessing a court decision that casts doubt on the municipality’s ban of single use plastic bags.
The BC Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of the Canadian Plastic Bag Association (CPBA) by finding the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban bylaw invalid.
It had come into effect on July 1, 2018 and helped inspire Saanich’s plastic bag ban set to come into effect on Jan. 1, 2020 following its official adoption last month.
“The District of Saanich is aware of the BC Court of Appeal’s decision in the City of Victoria case,” said Kelsie MacLeod, a spokesperson for the District of Saanich. “Given this decision, staff are in the process of investigating the options available to Saanich and any implications on our implementation of the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw. Next steps will be determined as soon as possible. We remain committed to looking at ways to reduce waste from single-use plastic.”
The CPBA first challenged Victoria’s bylaw in a petition for judicial review in January 2018, and in May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the City. But the new ruling found that Victoria’s definition of the bylaw’s purpose was not consistent with its effects.
Victoria said the dominant purpose of the bylaw was to protect the natural environment, rather than a business regulation. In that case, Victoria required approval from the Ministry of the Environment, which it did not seek out.
Victoria, like Saanich, is now looking for alternatives, which Mayor Lisa Helps has already vowed to find.
City Vows to Find Another Way to Eliminate Single-use Plastic Bags as Appeal Court Rules in Favour of Plastic Bag Industry https://t.co/zmP2ue0qbX— Lisa Helps - Victoria Mayor (@lisahelps) July 11, 2019