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Yorkton council gives business license compliance some teeth

Fines now in place
The City can now levy fines of business license not purchased. (File Photo)
YORKTON - The City of Yorkton is adding some teeth to its Business License Bylaw to ensure compliance. 

The Business License Bylaw licenses and regulates business activity within the City of Yorkton, detailed a report to the regular meeting of Council by Michael Eger – Director of Planning, Building & Development, with the City. 

Eger explained, “Staff are struggling to gain compliance with some businesses getting licensed, which creates an uneven playing field for those businesses that are complying. It also demands significant staff time and takes away from our ability to undertake other duties.” 

Past efforts to issue fines have been unsuccessful as our current Bylaw does not properly support penalties. 

As such Administration put forward a bylaw amendment. 

The Business License Bylaw is adopted under the Cities Act, which sets parameters around penalties and generally allows fines through voluntary payment and then through summary conviction. The proposed penalties are therefore based on these limitations, and are generally consistent with the penalties imposed in other City bylaws, explained Eger. 

“Typically, a contravention would result in a fine that is double the license fee. Ongoing non-compliance would allow the City to pursue larger penalties through the Courts,” he said. 

Eger added, staff will notify businesses that they may be fined for failing to purchase a business license through email communication and in-person follow-ups. 

Council were unanimous in supporting the penalties, giving the amendments all three readings Monday.