The City of Winnipeg must ensure any new or existing bylaws are enforced, if such bylaws are to have teeth. Otherwise, the tendency will be to ignore the bylaws, making them not worth the paper they are written on.
With 434 regulatory bylaws currently on the books, enforcement is already an issue from a staffing perspective. While the City employs a significant number of individuals, ranging from building inspectors to public health inspectors, staffing levels are inadequate to consistently ensure that standards for health, safety and appearance are met.
When the Smoking Regulation Bylaw was introduced, the City acknowledged it did not have enough public health inspectors to monitor smoking in all public places.
In 2003, Manitoba’s Clean Environment Commission conducted public hearings on the City of Winnipeg’s Wastewater Collection and Treatment Systems and recommended the Water and Waste Department put in place an improved bylaw enforcement program.
Although staffing and related employment costs are an issue, it goes beyond that. There must be a level playing field, with fair, consistent enforcement. The City cannot cite one individual for violating its bylaws, while ignoring others because of a lack of staffing.
Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Recommendations:
- Ensure the proper allocation of resources
- Pursue opportunities to partner with industry associations to enhance enforcement efforts by empowering industry associations to be self-policing
- Raise public awareness of any new bylaws through education programs and strong upfront enforcement
Adopted by The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce board of directors, May 2007