Bows are a firearm, bylaw determines

Crosswalks, use of bows within the village and a lack of logs at the mill are topics of the last Midway council meeting.

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After a serious injury occurred to a resident on Florence Street, more crosswalks may soon come to the community, the ‘Bow Debate’ goes into its final round, and Vaagen Fibre is starting to feel the heat this winter season. These are just some of the topics discussed at the Midway council meeting on Nov 3.

Vicki Feist, president of the West Boundary Senior Housing Society, wrote to council asking that two crosswalks be installed across Florence Avenue—one at Ninth Street and the other at Sixth Street. She wrote that a Parkview Manor resident was injured crossing Florence. Council agreed that having a crosswalk would be a good idea, especially with seniors housing nearby. Council will write a letter to Emcon Services and follow up to put this into further debate.

Bylaw 462, a bylaw to amend the Village of Midway Discharge of Firearms Regulation, came up for final adoption. It was being amended to include bows, making them illegal to shoot within municipal limits.

Councilor Marguerite Rotvold took a strong stance against adding bows to the bylaw, stating it is a recreation that many people enjoy in the area, and has never been an issue before. Council disagreed, and the bylaw was adopted—a bow is now considered a firearm in that bylaw.

“Talking to a mayor from a small community,” Rotvold argued during discussion of the amendment, “he said they went through their bylaws and got rid of about a third or more of them.”

Rotvold said they eliminated those bylaws they couldn’t enforce. “The fact that we had no complaints about these bows, I do not support it being included,” she continued. “We had no complaints. Who’s going to enforce it and why are we doing it?”

Administrator Penny Feist assured Rotvold that the conservation officer and RCMP would enforce the bylaw.

It was also argued to be a safety issue. “Discharging a bow in a city lot is terribly, terribly unsafe,” said Councilor Gary Schierbeck. “It can bounce off of something, hit somebody, or go through their target. These things are not toys, they’re weapons. I think safety is of the utmost here.”

Finally, Councillor Richard Dunsdon reported millworkers are beginning to get worried as they are now down to only three days a week. Schierbeck told council that he had phoned and discussed the matter with Vaagen Fibre mill manager Chris Waters, and asked him what happened, and why the mill was down to three days a week.

“Primarily their policy to keep low inventory… and they fell into dire straits when they had a couple of cutting permits that were not approved on time,” Schierbeck said, “so that put them behind the eight ball.”

Schierbeck continued, “Weather changed and again that put [Vaagen Fibre] behind. Kind of a perfect storm.”

Mayor Randy Kappes said in response that it was brought up that it “should be a management thing,” and that Vaagen has been in business long enough that that it may be just a story.

“Maybe they’ll change their policy now that they’re behind.” Schierbeck said.

Dunsdon said he was approached and asked what Midway council can do to help, but as Dunsdon put it, “We’ve done just about every-dang-thing we can do as a council. They have to step up and deal with that.”