For the first time ever the County of Grande Prairie has approved an all-encompassing Community Standards Bylaw.

Covering potential issues from bullying and hazing to waste management, the new legislation was a six-year collaborative effort between enforcement services and several external services.

Enforcement Services Superintendent Stuart Rempel says for things like bullying, the bylaw was based on a recommendation put forward by the RCMP.

“To lay the formal charge you’re bringing it before the criminal court system, and in some cases, it’s just not appropriate. Whereas the ticket is an intermediate stop gap, but I like to look at it like it’s just another tool in the toolbox.”

Rempel says they got some feedback from county residents suggesting that a new bylaw could be a case of government overreach. However, he believes that it will make things much easier for authorities, and safer for residents.

“Overall I don’t agree with it, but you certainly need some base rules to fall back on when you do not have that blatant non-compliance and I think really that’s what we are shooting for.”

Rempel adds they will be conduction several public information sessions to clear up any remaining questions the public may have.