(Photo by Surfrider Vancouver Island/Facebook)

Kids For a Plastic Free Canada and Surfrider Vancouver Island will be rallying today to demand the provincial government allow municipalities to legislate single-use plastics bans across British Columbia. 

Surfrider Vancouver Island (SVI) launched this movement in response to the BC Supreme Court’s decision to repeal the city of Victoria’s initial plastic bag ban. 

See also: Victoria plans to ask supreme court of Canada to intervene in plastic bag ban saga

Shortly after the repeal, SVI began a petition to have the decision overturned, and they were able to gain hundreds of signatures from islanders who supported their claim.

Their rally is set to take place on Tuesday, October 8th at the Legislative Assembly, and organizers invite individuals to help them present the petition to BC Minister of Environment and Climate Change, George Heyman. 

SVI, Plastic Free Canada, and the Environmental Law Centre have drafted an extensive document called “The case for reform: BC must regulate single-use plastics”.

They now call on Minister Heyman to stay the province’s current ban and/or grant municipalities the authority to implement bylaws in their own jurisdictions. 

Victoria Buzz has reached out to SVI for more information.

Background

Victoria initially introduced a plastic bag ban for all businesses in July 2018 through a new ‘Checkout Bag Regulation’ bylaw with support from the BC Supreme Court.

This bylaw prohibited businesses from providing single-use plastic bags to customers and instituted a minimum 15 cent charge for all paper bags.

However, this decision was struck down over a year later by the provincial appellate court which ruled that the city’s ban was enacted to facilitate the protection of the natural environment.

According to the Court of Appeals ruling, this is a move that requires approval from the provincial Minister of Environment, which was not sought.

In an announcement last month, the city stated that the Supreme Court of Canada will be asked to review the BC Court of Appeals ruling, in hopes of having them reverse the decision.

The City of Victoria submitted their appeal by September 30th, after which the Supreme Court can take between four to six months to decide whether or not to hear it.

Surfrider VI Rally to Regulate Single-Use Plastics

  • When: Tuesday October 8th, 3:15 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
  • Where: Premier’s Rose Garden on the Menzies side of the BC Legislative Assembly, Victoria, BC 

 

With files from Brishti Basu