One of the main responsibilities of the By-law Enforcement Section is receiving and then attempting to resolve public complaints and requests for assistance. The public at large, staff, councilors or other agencies, may initiate a complaint or enquiry. Complaints can be received by phone, letter, e-mail or in person.
Handling Public Complaints
When a complaint is received the details the name, address and phone number of the complainant are taken. Complainants are informed that their details will remain confidential except in certain circumstances. These circumstances would require the complainant to be a witness on behalf of the Town, should an officer lay a charge for a by-law infraction. If this is the case then the accused is entitled by law to find out who the complainant is.
Anonymous complaints are not usually investigated. If an individual chooses to lodge a complaint, a considerable amount of staff time may be required to investigate the complaint. Furthermore, staff may need to contact the complainant to obtain additional information. If a complainant declines to provide their details, then they are advised that no follow up action will be taken, as they have not provided the Town with the required information. There are several exceptions to this. These would include parking complaints, some zoning issues such as commercial vehicles being parked on a residential property and garbage and debris. These types of complaints can be dealt with on the observations of the officer alone and do not generally require a witness. Types of complaints that require witness details would not be investigated would be dumping issues, noise complaints, an illegal business being run from a residence and those complaints where the evidence of a third party would be crucial in substantiating a complaint.