By Kenyon Stronski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Taber town council motioned to pass an updated version of the Emergency Management Bylaw.
This bylaw moved the director of Emergency Management (DEM) position back to the fire chief — along with the fire chief being the chair of the organization, and four deputy director of Emergency Management (DDEM) positions to be appointed. The DDEM positions go to the deputy fire chief, police chief, director of Engineering and Public Works and the director of Recreation.
Together, the DEM and DDEM positions will work as one to co-ordinate Emergency Management plans for the town.
The town’s Dog Control Bylaw has been presented to Taber council previously, and has gone through updates and had a survey to include public opinion before being presented again June 14.
This new update omitted breed-specific wording and introduced life-long licensing for dogs. The new update also highlighted legislation being introduced to protect officers from liability if a dog is attacking other people and officers. It also adds updated fines and reworked wording for situations.
Taber Police Services’ Police Chief Graham Abela said residents didn’t want a dog that was provoked to be labelled, as aggressive. “I agree with that. Sometimes dogs act in certain ways — especially when being protective — if they are provoked. That’s something that should be considered when labelling a dog as aggressive or not. This was something that wasn’t considered in the previous bylaw and I think this is a more balanced approach.”
This bylaw sparked some conversation, as the bylaw is deemed ‘controversial’ and may require more public opinion and thinking before being passed.
Coun. Joe Strojwas noted with all the discourse council had with the first change of the bylaw, “we should do the first and second readings, and then wait to do the third and final — just in case there’s any feedback. That would be something to take into consideration.”
“It would not be good to pass every reading of this bylaw in the same meeting. Especially one that could be controversial. I would recommend we give a first and second reading and leave the last for the next council,” added Coun. Garth Bekkering.
The first reading passed unanimously, with more conversation from Strojwas afterwards.
“I think this bylaw has been reworked substantially. It’s totally new and I think if we did a little homework ourselves, we could clearly see and read the differences for ourselves.”
The old and new Dog Control Bylaw can be found on the Town of Taber’s website at taber.ca.