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LETTER: City should ban 'unwanted litter' in form of flyers

'I believe that Orillia council, like Montreal, should take action to ban the distribution of these flyers,' says letter writer

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It’s Friday and at the bottom of my driveway is a pink plastic bag with paper ads. Actually, it is in the ‘ditch’ rather than the driveway.

It is unwanted litter.

Arbitrarily distributed by ‘Postmedia Flyer Force,’ the bag contains paper ads for Walmart, Metro, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Food Basics. Distribution seems to be an indiscriminate drive-by throw onto the roadway, sidewalks, lawns, etc. They will remain there throughout the weekend as most residents ignore them.

In April 2023, I sent a notice to council outlining an article in the Globe and Mail from April 17, 2023, to the indicate that “new rules come into effect in Montreal next month, May 2023, that prohibit the delivery of marketing circulars to homes unless the resident expressly asks to receive them, overturning a system in place for decades.” No action seems to have been taken.

When I recently queried the issue with Ward 3 Coun. Jay Fallis, I received the following reply:

“I actually have some positive news for you regarding the unwanted pamphlet issue. I recently reached out to our city staff on this issue and it turns out our bylaw team can address this if you do not want these flyers. Here is the information from city staff:

  • We recommend that the complainant notify the company in writing requesting that they discontinue the practice.
  • If the practice continues, file a complaint to the city (bylaw enforcement services) and provide written proof that they have notified the company. The individual concerned will have to file the complaint along with the written proof.
  • An officer will then contact the company and handle it as a littering offence.
  • A caution would be the normal course of action by the bylaw officer at that stage.”

I think the issue is larger than one resident complaining about unwanted flyers. I believe that Orillia council, like Montreal, should take action to ban the distribution of these flyers, which end up as litter throughout our neighbourhoods.

Ironically I contacted this company previously to stop delivery, but a new ‘employee’ just indiscriminately throws them from a moving car.

I think it is time for council to take action to ban these marketing circulars/ads.

Phil Tweedie