The city is exploring the possibility of banning single-use plastic bags.

But whether that comes to fruition is still in the air.

Victoria lost its battle in the BC Court of Appeal for a similar ban.

The appeal was filed by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association. For a link to the judge’s decision, click here.

The decision could have implications on communities planning on bans in the near future.

“It remains to be seen whether an appeal will be made by the City of Victoria to the Supreme Court of Canada,” a City report reads.

Courtenay, Cumberland, and Comox all bylaws in place that would pave the way for future bans.

And on June 10th, the federal government announced it will be taking steps to ban harmful single-use plastics including bags, straws, cutlery, plates, and stir sticks, as early as 2021.

The government states that “without a change in course, Canadians will throw away an estimated $11 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030.”

At tonight’s council meeting, the council had three options to consider:

  • To receive the report regarding single-use plastic bags;
  • To direct staff to prepare a draft bylaw;
  • Or to provide further direction to staff.

The city’s acting manager of long-range planning Chris Osborne said it’s too early to predict if a ban will be enforced.

“Council received correspondence from the Council of Canadians and said that we were looking at what other municipalities are doing so they can think about what’s best for Campbell River,” he said.

“So this report really looks at a whole bunch of other municipalities on Vancouver Island and B.C.  to see what approach they’ve taken.”

Osborne noted that there has been no formal consultation with the community.

“We don’t know really what people think,” he said. “Certainly in light of the Court of Appeal decision with Victoria, a lot of those bylaws that had already been adopted by other municipalities were business regulation bylaws, which as a result of the Court of Appeal decision probably aren’t valid anymore, most of them.”

He added that council members have not directed staff to prepare a bylaw.

“I know a lot of other municipalities are adopting a little bit of a wait-and-see approach in terms of whether the City of Victoria makes an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.”