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By Hempology | February 24, 2006

An Abbotsford city councillor is “not happy” with the provincial government after it ruled there will be no immediate implementation of a proposal to monitor businesses selling hydroponic equipment.

Those comments were uttered by Coun. Lynne Harris on Monday as she assessed the response by Victoria to three proposals that were forwarded by the City of Abbotsford and approved by the Union of B.C. Municipalities ( UBCM ) during its conference in September.

After the conference, the UBCM lobbied the province to make the changes. However, the UBCM had only limited success, as was highlighted in a series of responses that were reported back to city manager Gary Guthrie last week.

That feedback, all from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, went before council on Monday.

The first of Abbotsford’s three motions highlighted that “special equipment” such as timers, nutrients, advanced hydroponics systems and high-voltage light bulbs are used in marijuana grow-ops.

The city proposed that government restrict the sale of the “special equipment,” with businesses selling it forced to keep track of their customers and submit records of all transactions to their local police.

The second motion urged the province to make it a legal requirement for all children weighing 40 to 80 pounds to be strapped into a booster seat whenever they are in a vehicle.

The third asked that the government regulate the use of fireworks. That would include public education, enforcement, international and cross-border transportation, and cost recovery legislation.

Abbotsford has already banned fireworks, but addressing the issue during last year’s conference, UBCM president Marvin Hunt said there is a concern that somebody could buy fireworks in one jurisdiction and discharge them in a neighbouring one.

On the hydroponics issue, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General told the City of Abbotsford that implementing a record-keeping system “requires careful consideration of its implications for all businesses province-wide.” As a result, it concluded that “further research” would have to be carried out before government moves forward.

That same ministry pointed out that, in conjunction with ICBC, a review is currently being carried out focusing on the “current requirements for child restraint devices.”

While pointing out legislation exists to allow local authorities to set their own fireworks bylaws — and that many communities have already banned them — the ministry stated that “additional regulation of fireworks would not be seen as a significant benefit.”

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