WHEREAS many people choose to discard their litter along the public road ways and public lands of Alberta; and WHEREAS the penalties for littering are low in comparison to other provincial offenses; and WHEREAS it is a cost to municipalities to clean up litter; and WHEREAS the Minister of Environment has the authority to make regulations and specify penalties under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties ask the Minister of Environment to amend the current $100 littering offences of the Environmental Protect and Enhancement Act up to $1,000 per offence to curb and deter the littering that currently denigrates the roadways and public lands of Alberta.
Regardless of what parts of Alberta you live in, you have likely either first hand recently witnessed someone discarding litter along the highway or have come across litter dumped in some other public spot. Likely the perpetrator was not charged and got away with the act, leaving the municipality to clean up the mess.Each year municipalities across the Province dispatch municipal crews to pull old couches, mattresses, etc. from public areas. There is a cost to the taxpayer for this.While municipalities may post positive litter prevention messages on signs, the behavior continues. While one cannot claim to know the inner motives of any individual litterer, the imposition of a penalty that causes one to take note, may serve as a deterrent to littering, and may curb the behavior.Anecdotal observation of public roadways in the northern United States where penalties and jail time, that exceed those penalties currently in Alberta, show thoroughfares less littered than those in Alberta.If a person who creates silt to be stirred up in a stream can face federal prosecution wherein a penalty of $1 million ($1,000,000) and three (3) years of jail time can be pursued (which is extreme), surely, the penalty for throwing away garbage at $100 per occurrence could be increased to $1000 per occurrence.Other provincial offences for a variety of offenses have been increased recently. We ask that consideration be given to raising the littering offences under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act as well.
The AAMDC has no current resolutions or background pertaining to this issue.
The Government of Alberta advised that it is reviewing the penalties for offences under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, and that this resolution would be considered in that review. It is anticipated that some of the changes being considered will be released for consultation sometime in 2010. The Association will include this issue in the formal ministerial meeting submission for Alberta Environment and support, monitor and participate as appropriate in the review of penalties.