Smiths Falls bans feeding wildlife in town limits – Kingston


Feed any birds or wildlife in a public area like a park or at a private residence and you could be looking at a $150 fine in Smiths Falls.

Town council unanimously passed the bylaw earlier this November to address ongoing issues in Smiths Falls.

Smiths Falls Coun. Jay Brennan says he’s received several complaints over the last term of council about issues with birds and members of the public feeding them.

At one point, Brennan says one of his constituents had a problem with a neighbour feeding seagulls and the birds would defecate on the constituent’s vehicle.

“The seagulls would come back to where the food is, of course, and they were interfering with the enjoyment of a neighbour’s property.”

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There have also been problems with Canada geese in the town’s parks.

Smiths Falls council brought in swans to scare off the geese but Brennan says the plan didn’t work out as it was intended to.

“We brought the swans in to deter the geese. People were feeding the swans which was not appropriate.”

A public education program which included signs in area parks didn’t make an impact on the issue.

Brennan also says feeding geese does have an element of danger.

“There’s a potential for aggressive birds, especially with geese.”

Brennan says the bylaw will be used judiciously and enforcement will be complaint-driven.

“There would be a warning, of course, and then the tool of a $150 fine is there for our use, probably in a rare, rare occasion.”

Bird feeders in residents’ yards are exempt under the bylaw.

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© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Supreme Court limits when accused drunk drivers can get breathalyzer logs


Canada’s top court has set new limits for defendants trying to beat a drunk-driving charge in a ruling that may have consequences for anyone accused of being high behind the wheel.

What the Supreme Court of Canada laid out over two decisions released Friday was a framework for when an accused person can get the maintenance log of a breathalyzer so they can question how well the device worked and whether the results can be trusted.

The high court said an accused can get the logs only if they can show that the records are relevant to their defence.

Defence lawyers regularly ask for the records, often held by private companies or police forces, even though they may not be directly related to the evidence collected as part of a case. In each of the cases the court ruled, the Crown argued it didn’t have to hand over the information.

In a near-unanimous ruling on two drunk-driving cases coming out of Alberta, the court said the records are not material to how a breathalyzer works when a driver is tested, only whether the device was properly maintained.

« The only question that must be answered is whether the machines were operating properly at the time of the test — not before or after, » Justice Malcolm Rowe wrote for the majority.

« The time-of-test records directly deal with this. The maintenance records, according to the expert evidence, do not. »

Justice Suzanne Cote was the lone dissenter.

A ‘highly instructive’ ruling

The decisions mark the second time this decade the court has weighed in on how far breathalyzer tests can be challenged in court using maintenance and training records, and defence lawyers believe it takes away another option for those trying to answer an impaired driving charge.

Defence lawyers will have a difficult time showing the maintenance records are relevant to the case if they can’t see the documents to begin with, said Lisa Jorgensen, a partner in the Toronto law firm of Cooper Jorgensen.

« It is, I would suggest, nearly impossible for the defence to ever show those records are likely to contain anything in particular other than the possibility of error, » she said.

« It’s confusing and very challenging. »

Ottawa-based lawyer Michael Spratt said the Supreme Court ruling will be « highly instructive » for judges when they consider requests for maintenance logs for roadside marijuana tests.

« It, I think, does tilt the slope so that accused will have an uphill battle to make the arguments to get the records of those machines as well, » Spratt said.

New impaired driving offences that took effect at the end of June set limits on how much THC, the primary psychoactive element in marijuana, a person can legally have in their system before they face penalties ranging from a $1,000 fine to a one-year driving suspension, to up to 120 days in jail.

To prove the offences, police have to take blood samples within a two-hour window.

Drager DrugTest 5000

The federal government has approved one roadside device to check if a driver is high, but some police forces are hesitant about using the Drager DrugTest 5000.

Courts may be hesitant to put as much faith in the drug tests as they do with breathalyzers, eventually leading to a similar decision from the Supreme Court on the relevance of certain records in drug-impaired driving cases, said Stephanie DiGiuseppe, who specializes in criminal and constitutional law with Ruby, Shiller, Enenajor, DiGiuseppe Barristers.

« A lot of it will come down to obtaining records and finding out about these new devices, » she said.

« We’ve not put these new devices through the muster to getting anywhere close to a level of confidence for courts. »


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Cannabis IQ: What should THC limits be for cops, pilots, doctors, soldiers? – National


What’s an appropriate level of marijuana consumption if a lot depends on your doing your job exactly right?

Police forces across the country have been wrestling with the question — not just as a law enforcement issue, but in setting rules for their own members.

An easy limit to enforce is not allowing consumption within 28 days of going on duty. (THC can be detectable up to 28 days after consumption.)

MORE: Want this weekly update delivered to your inbox? Sign up for Cannabis IQ.

Toronto police will enforce a 28-day limit, as will the RCMP. Edmonton police won’t allow officers to consume cannabis at all (though we could debate whether that’s actually stricter than a 28-day limit.)

Montreal police take a more tolerant approach, saying only that officers must be “fit for duty.” Federal correctional workers will have a 24-hour ban on consumption before going on duty.

The airlines face broadly similar issues. Air Canada and WestJet will ban employees in safety-sensitive positions, like flight crews and aircraft mechanics, from consuming pot at all.

WATCH: Flying high: rules surrounding passengers carrying cannabis at Canadian airports

Winnipeg’s hospital authority says only that employees “are required to report to work fit for duty and not impaired,” given that “there are currently no standards established for measuring the effects of cannabis.

The military takes a nuanced approach, looking at the risks in the job a service member will do. Troops have a 24-hour ban before handling weapons or explosives, but a 28-day ban before serving on a submarine or as aircrew.

It’s tempting to err on the side of caution, but what’s reasonable?

Solomon Israel had a useful explainer in The Leaf. To summarize: even looking at the heaviest users, scientists can’t find the tiniest example of THC influence after seven days from use. At that point, the effects they’re detecting can only be picked up by sophisticated neuropsychological tests, and don’t necessarily matter in the real world.

WATCH: AGLC licenses 17 Alberta cannabis stores for Oct. 17

In brief:

  • On Tuesday, the U.S. announced a major policy change — people who work in the Canadian marijuana industry would, on second thought, no longer be in danger from being banned for life from entering the United States.
  • When will a cannabis-impaired driver be charged? Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said Sunday it would have to be on a case-by-case basis.” “Legalization is being rushed through without proper planning or consideration for the negative consequences,” opposition public safety and justice critics charged.
  • From Global Edmonton’s Fletcher Kent, a reflection on cannabis’s slow journey into mainstream culture. (He talks to four bud trimmers, all senior citizens, who were recruited at the quilting group at the seniors’ centre in Peers, Alta. “Life’s a journey,” one observes.) 
  • Condo boards across the country have the thankless task of trying to regulate residents’ marijuana use.
  • Calgary will see only two cannabis stores open on Wednesday: over 100 more applications are waiting for provincial approval. Businesses caught waiting in line are grumpy.

WATCH: Doug Ford says he’ll consult about allowing marijuana in public parks

  • Large majorities of Manitobans fear that police don’t have the tools to identify marijuana-impaired drivers, and that impaired driving will increase when marijuana becomes legal. 
  • Increasing numbers of young people are ending up in hospital for cannabis poisoning. The problem seems to have to do with grey-market edibles, which can be in appealing formats like soft candy.
  • Warning signs are going up in airports across the country, warning people not to leave the country with their pot. But what are you supposed to do if you realize you have some that you should be getting rid of? Some U.S. airports have installed amnesty boxes, and Canadian airports are considering the same.

You asked:

  • How will the legalization of recreational cannabis affect the medical cannabis market and its clients?

Canada’s national recreational cannabis industry will take years to take its final form, whatever that looks like. In the meantime, there’s been much talk of shortages, at least at first.

B.C. government anticipates a shortage of certain strains of recreational pot

That’s a manageable and temporary problem if you’re ordering marijuana as a recreational drug, and more serious if you need it as medicine. Unfortunately, the same licensed producers that supply the medical market are now frantically scaling up to supply the recreational market, in many cases with exactly the same products.

These crunches will sort themselves out over time, but obviously, that doesn’t help with a problem right now. (We spoke to an expert who wondered if a shortage of medical cannabis could be made up through imports, which raises some interesting possibilities.)

So the short answer is: yes, shortages for medical users are a possibility. If you’re in that situation, please let us know through the contact form below.

You can buy live pot plants when they’re legal — at least in theory

Send us your questions


© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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