Province Implements Recommendations for Offhighway Vehicle Use

first_imgThe Department of Natural Resources is creating six new positions for enforcement officers in response to the growing number of off-highway vehicles in Nova Scotia and public concern about their use. These new positions are being created on the recommendation of a recent Voluntary Planning task force on off-highway vehicle use. More than 50,000 off-highway vehicles are estimated to be in use in the province. Their use sometimes conflicts with the interests and activities of other Nova Scotians. “Our role is to ensure that the vehicles are used safely and appropriately,” said Minister of Natural Resources, Richard Hurlburt. The recent provincial budget allocated $800,000 to the Department of Natural Resources to establish six new positions for enforcement officers and to purchase equipment. An additional six positions will be added next year. Like the province’s conservation officers, the new off-highway vehicle enforcement officers will be appointed as special constables under the provincial Police Act. The enforcement officers can lay charges under 15 statutes and regulations, including the Angling Act, the Wilderness Areas Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Wildlife Act, and the Off-Highway Vehicles Act. They will also enforce the Liquor Control Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Criminal Code of Canada. “These newly-appointed enforcement officials will promote compliance with regulations and legislation, with an emphasis on education,” said John Mombourquette, director of the Department of Natural Resources’ enforcement division. “We will also reinforce the effective partnerships that have been established by conservation officers with other municipal, provincial and federal enforcement agencies to address areas of mutual interest.” These agencies include the provincial Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, municipal police departments, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The off-highway unit will be equipped with snowmobiles, all terrain vehicles, street and trail motorcycles, as well as communications, surveillance and global positioning system equipment. The province is reviewing other recommendations of the off-highway vehicle task force.last_img

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