Program educates students on by-laws

Trying to find a bathroom between the bar and your house can be a challenge, but substituting a tree for a toilet is not the solution.

The City of Waterloo has launched the “It’s your Waterloo” campaign to inform students of the fines for breaking by-laws, which in the case of public urinations equates to a hefty $300 ticket.

“The point of the ‘It’s your Waterloo’ campaign is basically to educate students about some of the issues they’re going to face when they come here,” said Kaye Crawford, manager of community relations for the City of Waterloo.

The program also hopes to welcome students to the community and, as Crawford explained, “have some pride for living in Waterloo, respect for living in Waterloo and also [to make it clear] that they have a choice in their behavior.”

This new campaign roots back to Project Safe Semester, a program the city developed in 2007.
“It was based on community complaints,” said Mark Bullock, staff sergeant to the Waterloo Regional Police Services (WRPS).

“We employ a strict enforcement policy to all provincial, federal and municipal statutes and that includes by-laws,” explained Bullock.

“We’re trying to get the word out that you should come to Waterloo and have a good time but there are limits on behavior.”

As part of the campaign, a door-to-door welcome initiative will also be occurring on Sept. 16 and 17.

Representatives from the WRPS, the city and both Laurier and the University of Waterloo will knock on the doors of over 1500 homes surrounding the institutions.

This initiative will provide students with information concerning by-laws, positive neighbourhood behavior and important contacts.

“We want [students] to keep their money in their pockets,” said Bullock.

All these initiatives are proving to be successful with a decrease in infractions in comparison to previous years.

“A portion of it is education, getting the message out there, a portion of it is building respect, a portion of it is knowing that there are consequences as well,” explained Jan d’Ailly, city councilor for ward 6.

“What you’re seeing here is all those pieces coming together,” he added.

Costly mistakes

Municipal by-laws

Noise – $300
Nuisance – $300
Public Urination – $300
Fireworks – $245
Tipping garbage cans – $125

Provincial statutes

Keg party – $500-$1,000 and a court appearance
Open liquor in a public space – $100
Presenting false identification – $100

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