Tag on taggers pushed to $2,500

Red Deer city council agreed to send a strong message to graffiti taggers by upping the fine for a first offence to $2,500.

Red Deer city council agreed to send a strong message to graffiti taggers by upping the fine for a first offence to $2,500.

Council was divided Monday on whether this was a good idea, but the majority voted in favour of a stiffer fine to demonstrate that property damage will not be tolerated.

“It puts the responsibility on perpetrators, and shows that we have a zero tolerance,” said Councillor Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer, whose downtown business was recently spray-painted.

But Councillors Larry Pimm, Frank Wong and Buck Buchanan voted against jacking up the existing $300 fine to $2,500.

Pimm argued it was worthless effort since so few graffiti vandals get caught — virtually none were apprehended in Red Deer’s recent history.

As a retired police officer, Buchanan said he did not favour any legislation that was “not usable.”

Wong feared that if any graffiti taggers did get caught and slapped with the massive fine, it would be only inexperienced novices. “The higher-ups never get caught.”

But Councillors Watkinson-Zimmer, Lynne Mulder, Gail Parks, Cindy Jefferies, and Tara Veer thought the high fine would, at the very least, reflect how seriously the city takes such property crimes.

Watkinson-Zimmer said there’s a high cost to the victim.

She had to pay $30 for paint remover, which didn’t get all the spray-paint out, so she had to spring for new paint.

While Veer wasn’t keen on punishing property owners who didn’t remove the graffiti promptly, Watkinson-Zimmer said she wanted to see the vandalism scrubbed off or painted over right away.

Jefferies suggested by not cracking down on tardy landowners the city was enabling more property defacement. Studies have shown this happens when graffiti is allowed to exist on a building for longer than a couple of weeks.

“By not penalizing people who do not follow the (community standards) bylaw, we are penalizing people who do.”

Council discussed lower fines of $250 to $500 for property owners who didn’t get rid of graffiti in a reasonably quick time-frame.

Contact Lana Michelin at lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer would be the site of potential TV show

A potential TV show aims to bring Red Deer kids across the… Continue reading

Oilsands firms considering diluent recovery units to boost crude-by-rail volumes

CALGARY — Ongoing pipeline project delays and growth in crude-by-rail capacity from… Continue reading

Ex-Eskimos CEO gets new job among flurry of Alberta government appointments

Ex-Eskimos CEO gets job among flurry of appointments EDMONTON — Len Rhodes,… Continue reading

State of mind to be key issue in Alek Minassian trial, judge says

TORONTO — The trial of a man accused of killing ten people… Continue reading

Home explosion, fire taking a toll on London, Ont., neighbourhood: fire official

LONDON, Ont. — A gas explosion and a large fire that triggered… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Thursday The Red Deer and District Garden Club hosts its annual Flower… Continue reading

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

SASKATOON — A minor injury cost former Humboldt Broncos hockey player Jacob… Continue reading

Police make arrest, Canadian ‘shocked’ after fiance’s murder in New Zealand

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand police have charged a man with… Continue reading

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in British Columbia likely out of commission until 2020

SQUAMISH, B.C. — The operators of the Sea-to-Sky Gondola say the popular… Continue reading

Portland, Oregon, awaits right-wing rally, counter protests

PORTLAND, Ore. — More than two dozen local, state and federal law… Continue reading

Philadelphia standoff suspect charged with attempted murder

PHILADELPHIA — A man suspected of shooting six police officers during an… Continue reading

Oilsands firms considering diluent recovery units to boost crude-by-rail volumes

CALGARY — Ongoing pipeline project delays and growth in crude-by-rail capacity from… Continue reading

Ex-Eskimos CEO gets new job among flurry of Alberta government appointments

Ex-Eskimos CEO gets job among flurry of appointments EDMONTON — Len Rhodes,… Continue reading

Most Read