This is an excerpt of my presentation to city council on necessary changes to the Nuisance bylaw in our community. My ask is to improve the safety of our neighbourhoods, and give more credence to residents maintaining their properties as well. My hope is the legal opinion sought will give us further opportunities to strengthen our operations, while giving our enforcement officers greater leeway to ensure our neighbourhoods are safer, cleaner, and more representative of the city we call home. Speaking notes below:
Thank you your worship, I’m going to take a minute to address this if I could. I’m pleased to be able to speak to my request of November 1, 2021, for changes to Brandon’s nuisance bylaw No. 5806.
First off, I wanted to provide some context for this request. I’ve engaged with residents of my ward for over a year now with regards to a problematic property in our neighbourhood.
This property has been subject to numerous visits from members of Brandon Police Service, Brandon Fire and Emergency Services, The City of Brandon Zoning and compliance department, Safer Communities Manitoba, City of Brandon Bylaw enforcement, City of Brandon Sanitation, and many other departments. Over the past twelve months, I personally have engaged with members of the administration, and more importantly the neighbourhood residents on this single property more than 400 times in a one-year stretch.
In reviewing the current site, the cost to the city in allowing the operations of properties that live on the fringes of legal access, and respectful community life is immense, and the impact to the neighbourhood in which these properties exist is far-reaching, demoralizing due to lack of action, and frankly causing people to reconsider life in our city.
Following numerous meetings with residents, city administration, members of the Brandon Police Service, and other departments in relation to properties such as this, I raised at the November 1, 2021 meeting of council the need for strengthened bylaw enforcement measures, and to provide the necessary teeth to force compliance and ultimately change in our neighbourhoods. Upon careful review since that giving of notice, it was deemed that the city seeks outside legal opinion on the necessary strategies for strengthening this bylaw, and the ability to enforce measures that will enact change.
Tonight, I make that request for an outside legal opinion on the necessary bylaw improvements, and I do this on behalf of the residents who I’ve come to know and respect a great deal for their courage and conviction for change over these past twelve months.
For administration and city services, residences like this have been a cost of doing business, but for the neighbours though; it has been a 24-hour a day challenge to live with a feeling of safety in their own homes. It has been unrelenting and needs to change. My commitment continues to be working towards enacting that necessary change, and to shift that dynamic and allow our exemplary city staff the opportunity to make this change for neighbours to again feel safe in their own homes. On behalf of these residents and countless more who deal with similar issues in our city, I respectfully ask council to support this motion seeking outside legal opinion on necessary improvements to the Nuisance Bylaw.