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Mayor receiving positive feedback over English-only bylaw

Last Updated Mar 20, 2016 at 10:27 pm PST

Village of Belcarra Municipal Hall (Courtesy Googlemaps)
Summary

Emails from various parts of BC are supportive of village's bylaw specifying translation services won't be provided.

Village mayor defends new bylaw outlining English-only services.

BELCARRA (NEWS 1130) – It’s been a few days since we learned the village of Belcarra will be adopting a bylaw, letting people know it won’t be translating any of its business paperwork into any other language.

The mayor says he’s been getting positive feedback since the news started circulating.

“Absolutely! I’ve had quite a bit of feedback from far and wide – from Saanich, Surrey, Coquitlam – all very positive,” says Ralph Drew.

Many Lower Mainland cities do provide documents in other languages, but Drew given they are only a village of 700, they don’t have the resources to offer that level of service.

“We’ve had that happen where a property owner comes into city hall, can’t speak the language, and is insistent that the municipality provide translation services. I’m sorry, but the business language in BC is English.”

He says he can’t believe how much coverage the bylaw has received. He says a more important part of the bylaw is a new requirement for property owners to provide full contact information.

As it stands now, properties can be registered in the name of numbered companies with no contact information.

Drew says in one case a boat had sunk off the property registered in a numbered company and it began leaking fuel. The city couldn’t locate anyone affiliated with the property.