ROTHENBURGER – Plastic bag fiasco proves need for recall for city councils

DO YOU EVER WISH there was a way to throw the rascals out without waiting for the next election?

There is at the provincial level, but not municipal. Maybe it’s time for an overhaul of the municipal election system to force greater accountability at city halls around B.C.

This comes to mind as Victoria City council struggles with yet another boondoggle of its own making, the latest of many. It serves as a warning signal to other B.C. towns.

On Thursday, the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned Victoria’s plastic-bag ban, saying the City should have run it past the environment minister before putting it into force. It’s a business vs. environment question. So far, the council’s excuse is that it thought about it, but decided it didn’t have to.

Which raises the question, wouldn’t it be best, when contemplating a contentious new law, to cover all your bases?

The court’s decision is a blessing in disguise for Kamloops City council, which is in the process of sending its own version of Victoria’s bag bylaw out for public consultation.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8312 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – Plastic bag fiasco proves need for recall for city councils

  1. John Noakes // July 13, 2019 at 9:00 AM // Reply

    “Voter’s regret” is an ailment which I feel that I now have.

    I supported a candidate whom I thought would show some integrity looking into a concern I held regarding what I thought to be nepotism in municipal politics. Instead, the newbie councillor reported back to me just this past week that what I ‘claimed to have seen’ had no record of it ever having taken place. Besides, too much time had passed.

    Wow. Wow. Wow. In just over half a term, it appears she has made the switch from concerned candidate to corporate girl.

    I guess all that I can say is that there is no record of there ever having been one of her election signs on our front lawn. There is also no record of me hoofing it around our subdivision putting her election flyers in people’s mail boxes. And the next 3-1/2 years will pass by with surprising speed.

  2. Recalling legislation could be a good thing. But I think you are definitely misleading us on this one. We have full time, well paid staff whose job is to be aware and to advise fully and completely on all details the regular-citizens-turned-councillors. You can’t expect regular-citizens-turned-councillors to be 100% aware 100% of the time.

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