Mississauga needs a more comprehensive noise control bylaw
Monday, November 16, 2020
MIRANET has been working diligently to inform residents about its concerns regarding the city’s proposed changes to the existing Noise Control Bylaw. After engaging with the public in January and October 2020, a diverse group of participants in the consultation process (individuals, residents’ associations, MIRANET, business groups, the construction industry, past city councillors, and journalists) were unanimous in their feedback to the city: they wanted less noise. In addition to asking for the inclusion of decibel limits, they asked for the bylaw to reflect the impact of noise on human health. The proposed changes reflect none of this feedback and seemingly led to increasing noise levels instead.
It was unclear what the city hoped to achieve with their changes. The October consultations had technical issues; public input was seemingly ignored; the changes did not embrace the use of modern technology to replace auditory signalling and amplified sound, which would allow organizations to reach wider audiences with minimal noise impact; the use of free decibel level measurement apps was not explored for use in enforcement; there were no proposals for amendments to federal or provincial laws to prevent the sale and distribution of modified mufflers or car audio with settings that exceed the noise threshold for hearing loss; and worst of all, there was no funding to hire additional staff to enforce these bylaws. The entire process was an exercise in mediocrity.
On Nov. 9, MIRANET received confirmation that the city would be postponing its review of the current Noise Control Bylaw, citing COVID-19 and an expanding scope of work needed for the bylaw review. MIRANET applauds both this decision and city staff for recognizing that more work needs to be done. We hope they use this additional time for meaningful engagement with all stakeholders and the development of a thoughtful, comprehensive bylaw. A Noise Control Bylaw that balances competing stakeholder needs, identifies mitigation measures to minimize noise impacts, embraces modern technology, minimizes financial impacts to taxpayers, and supports public health objectives. As residents of a world-class city, we deserve nothing less.