After the defeat of proposed amendments to permit hunting under Grimsby’s “Discharge of Firearms and Bows” at last Council in October, it appears after some “reconsideration” that at least one Councillor thought permitting hunting was suddenly a good idea.
In only what could be called a procedural comedy of errors, Councillor Charrois first attempted to get the discharge issue on the table for changes from the approval of the last Council meeting minutes. The 2/3rds vote required to do so was not achieved.
It appears everyone in Council including the Clerk was confused by the issue, as reconsideration of any “matter previously decided” requires a special procedure, including a “Notice of Motion”:
Councillor Charrois failed to provide the Notice of Motion given the matter had been dealt with and decided on October 16th. Had the process been properly followed, then the public could make delegations on the matter, but the “Charrois Surprise” short-circuited public input.
Not following the Procedural By-law is contrary to the Council Code of Conduct but may also open the By-law to potential quashing under the Municipal Act
The proposed and approved amendment to the draft by-law was to permit hunting using bows south of Ridge Road by landowners and those who they give permission to, translation, everybody. More troubling is that the amendment was so general, it did not even take into consideration safety issues such as distance from trails or other sensitive uses or specific penalties.
Once discussion was achieved, the issue of enforcement was primarily raised, which Henry Boese, a Town By-law Officer, enthusiastically addressed that they could handle this type of matter.
The amended By-law was initially voted on with the following recorded 5-4 vote:
YEA to Bow Hunting – Baradziej, Charrois, Davoli, DiFlavio, Howe
NO to Any Hunting – Freake, Korstanje, Vardy, Jordan
After the vote, there was a ruckus at Town Hall with the minority, but vocal hunting group, going up to Mr. Boese in apparent and puzzling joy. There was so much noise and raising of voices, that it required the Clerk to call for order in the Council Chambers.
This “tweaking” of this By-law to permit bow-hunting sounds curiously familiar. In the January 13, 2022 edition of NewsNow, it stated that the whole Discharge of Firearms circus was triggered by a previous Councillor who got bow hunting permitted… and it spiraled from there.
So here we go again. The multi-million dollar hunting groups and lobbyists will no doubt be after the Town, plying their tired charlatan lines of “gun hunting is safer than riding a bicycle” as an attempt to put their foot in the door that has been opened once again by the Charrois’ amendment.
With landowners and whomever they give permission permitted to use bows now on the table, often seen as the most cruelest form of hunting, it could entail underground commercial enterprise of “hunt for cash” on the escarpment. Expect the firearms folk to say “me too” with Lake Ontario also in their sights.
As the old adage says, “those who forget history are condemned to repeat it”.