The city is going to take a wait and see approach to noise complaints on the North Saskatchewan river. City councillors on the community and public services committee recommended Monday to city staff that park rangers and city police should be able to enforce the rules that are already in place, as long as they make their presence known to boaters on the river.
“I think we need to be proactive,” said David Aitkin, who oversees community standards for the city’s bylaw branch. “I think we need to think about if the docks get built this year, that in 2018 and 2019 we expect an increase in (river) use, and with that an increase in compliance. We’ll need to be ready.”
At times police will be needed to enforce federal laws on the water, which park rangers can’t. Mike Tynan of Klondike Jet Boats doesn’t see a problem with enforcing rules for noise levels, speed, or how much wake a boat leaves, as long as it’s reasonable.
“You’ll find that everybody in the boating business that I’m involved with, they’re all for it,” he told reporters. “They’re all for control of some sort, particularly noise that we can all get on here. We don’t want to have any more problems.”
Noise he said happens because of a handful of boaters, and only at certain times in the year. “It’s a very isolated amount,” he said.
“It’s probably four, maybe five boats and they’re sporadic. They’ll come at the start of the season. They’ll go down to the boat launch at 50 Street, getting ready for a race or a venue somewhere else. Reporting them is the easiest way to get somebody to look at it. But use the rules.”
Council’s urban planning committee will look at adding more boat launches on Wednesday. They’ll be designed for canoes and other boats that can be launched by hand, without trailers. City council will get an update a year from now recommending if more enforcement will be needed with the added activity.