To be certain no one misses the significance of the Nov. 3 Telegram editorial that referenced Judge Harold Porter and the city’s antiquated laws, I write this letter to the editor.
It is one thing to chuckle at antiquated laws regulating where to park your horse and buggy in St. John’s.
It is no laughing matter, however, that the city cannot enact new laws to meet the needs of its 21st century citizens without prior approval from the provincial government.
This past July, Coun. Sheilagh O’Leary made a request for a timely review of the St. John’s Act. Timely is the operative word here, as Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff noted that the review began back in 1991. For those not clear on the significance of the St. John’s Act, it is the law which the City of St. John’s refers to in protecting us, its citizens. The act is available online at: http://www.canlii.org/en/nl/laws
As the City of St. John’s grows, it is vital that the 21st century needs of the people are met through the instatement of appropriate laws.
Life and cities change, and with that, laws must too.
Therefore, the most pressing task at hand for St. John’s council is to lobby the provincial government for control of The St. John’s Act, and for the right to make their own laws, independent of government intervention and approval.
This action must supersede all other matters on the city’s agenda. It makes no sense to discuss motorcycle noise or other citizen concerns unless the city can actually do something about them.