If you are thinking about throwing that fast food wrapper out your car window, you could find yourself lighter in the pocketbook.
During the Moose Jaw Board of Police Commissioners meeting on Thursday, Mayor Clive Tolley inquired about how littering is enforced by the Moose Jaw Police Service.
Currently, the City of Moose Jaw does not have a bylaw that covers general littering. There are bylaws in place for discarding burning material, such as cigarettes, and glass and nails.
However, the Moose Jaw Police Service does have the authority to hand out a $250 fine for littering under the provincial Litter Control Act.
Deputy Chief Rick Johns went a step further and said an officer doesn’t need to witness the act in order to lay a charge. It can be reported by a member of the public as long as they can produce evidence such as a photo, video or a license plate and they are willing to give a police statement.
“As long as we can obtain that evidence, in the event that it goes to court, be able to successfully prosecute it. We could lay a charge even by not witnessing it,” Johns said.
Mayor Clive Tolley added that he is working with city administration to draft a littering bylaw and asked whether it was necessary if there were already provincial regulations.
Johns replied that having a city bylaw would give police officers another tool to work with.
“Under the Litter Control Act, we do have that available. It is a provincial act. However, we also have redundancy in a lot of bylaws where there are provincial charges as well as bylaw charges. It allows the officers some discretion as to which charge they want to lay,” Johns said.