One of the first buildings people see when they drive downtown in Prince Rupert is the old Dairy Queen building. (Quinn Bender / The Northern View)

In Our Opinion: Give the bylaw some teeth

Time for residents, the city and the province to polish this diamond

In some cities, hanging your laundry outside is a bylaw infraction and if one neighbour pipes up your days of wind dried fabrics are over. But in Prince Rupert, the bar has been set much lower, until recently when ‘beautification’ attempts by the city have brought us freshly paved road and new sidewalks.

Now the city is asking its private citizens to step it up. The city has issued letters to property owners who aren’t complying with the property maintenance bylaw, yet that isn’t enough, said councillor Barry Cunningham who spoke frankly at the council meeting last week.

“It’s great to have new sidewalks you can walk on, but you still have to look at that piece of crap beside it,” he said on Aug. 21.

We all have to look at the graffiti, trash and deteriorating vehicles and buildings that plague this naturally beautiful city. Prince Rupert has the potential to shine, but is being tarnished by human waste.

Enforcing the property maintenance bylaw is one thing, but the province could also do its part and do something about the three schools it shut down and abandoned. Out of sight out of mind for some who chose to wear blinders and ignore the situation, but if we want this city to visually reflect how many of us feel about it, then residents need to take better care of their property, the city needs to start cracking the whip and the province needs to do its part.

Like a diamond in the rough with the right amount of polish, the right amount of civic pride, and the right amount of people to get involved, the current sad state of affairs downtown and in certain neighbourhoods could be revitalized.

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