Council repeals antiquated bylaws | DrumhellerMail
Last updateThu, 23 May 2024 12pm

Council repeals antiquated bylaws

    Those participating in the annual Canada Day Parade had no idea they were breaking Drumheller bylaws. Neither did the everyday resident know that when they shovelled snow from their driveway onto the street understand if they could not pay the fine their penalty, could include jail time “with or without hard labour.”     As an act of house cleaning Drumheller Town Council repealed a number of antiquated bylaws from their books at Tuesday night’s council meeting. Many have outlived their purpose, are inoperative or have been replaced. 
    A list of about 130 bylaws was cleared from the books, dating from 1916 to 1979. While many were situational such as bylaws passed for the sale of land, approval for grants given to non-profit organizations, or tax remittances, many were also slices from direct points in history, and all are in place until struck from books.
    According to a bylaw passed in February 1931, if you were to have a parade, it was written the head of the procession must fly a Union Jack of not less than three feet by six feet, unfurled and flowing. In fact, if you were planning to fly any other flag than the British flag, you had to have it approved by the Chief of Police. The maximum size of another national flag, banner or poster could only be 4 feet-six inches, by nine feet, however it could not be larger or any more prominent than the Union Jack.
    Another interesting bylaw dates back to 1966, which stipulated that all shops in The City of Drumheller on regular business days must close at 5:30 p.m., with the exception of barbershops, which could be open until 6 p.m.
    It also stipulated at every Wednesday, of each week, except for the Wednesday immediately preceding Christmas Day, Shops are to close at 12:30 in the afternoon.
    On Friday and Saturdays, shops were allowed to stay open until 9 p.m., except for barbershops, which now had to close at 7 p.m.
    One day kept sacred throughout the bylaw was the night before-the night before Christmas. On December 23rds, shops were allowed to stay open until 9 p.m.
    The bylaw was meant not to put any hardships on those needed to secure the necessities of life. The bylaw was written to allow the sales of fruits, confectionery, medicines, surgical supplies, tobacco, newspapers, bread, milk and cream, and automobile supplies on off business hours, provided that these are the only items sold.
    This bylaw also stipulated the rigorous penalty of $100, or in default imprisonment for up to 60 days “with or without hard labour.”
    In fact, this penalty “with or without hard labour” comes up on a number including piling snow on public property, or injuring or breaking a shade or ornamental tree on Drumheller property, as passed in 1924.
    Other interesting artifact was Bylaw 11-76, passed in July of 1976, which made it lawful after 1:30 p.m. on Sunday to “provide, engage or be present at horse races within the City of Drumheller and to provide engage or be present at paramutual betting in conjunction with such races.”
    This became known as the City of Drumheller Sunday Horseracing bylaw.
    Another step forward for the community was written into law on February 27, 1978. This banned smoking in all areas of the Drumheller Memorial Arena, with the exception of the corridors and public washroom. The vote was unanimous on all three readings.

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