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Signs of the times – with fines – in Port Coquitlam parks

Signs will show what's prohibited in Port Coquitlam parks and specify that fines will apply for bylaw infractions
A new parks sign for the city of Port Coquitlam.

New signs are about to go up at Port Coquitlam parks to remind visitors to leave the green spaces clean.

The signs for picking up after dogs, putting trash in bins and not smoking near buildings will also include fine print about bylaw infractions.



The revised signs, which are to be created in-house, come after a committee of council discussion last month about whether to add information about penalties.

Coun. Dean Washington pressed staff at the March 17 meeting to state the violation amount on each sign while Forrest Smith, PoCo’s engineering and public works director, wasn't in favour, saying council may change the sum.

“We have our own sign shop,” Washington said, adding, “If we hand out tickets, [people] should know exactly how much they will be.”

Coun. Nancy McCurrach suggested the maximum fine total be posted — an option supported by councillors Glenn Pollock and Laura Dupont — but Coun. Darrell Penner sided with Smith, saying no number should advertised.

In the end, Mayor Brad West’s motion to have the words “Fines Will Apply” — with no amount attached — was unanimously approved.

The updated signs, with colourful icons and “positive messaging,” are designed to cut the number of overall park signage, staff say.

Besides dog waste collection, trash and smoking protocols, the parks signs also address open fires, use of drones, alcohol consumption and vehicle use — all of which are banned in Port Coquitlam parks.

City council has budgeted $20,000 for the installation work, with two new signs up at each park.

New signage along trails is on the books for the 2022 budget.