City to seize shopping carts

Alycia Douglass

Published on April 13, 2017

Another abandoned shopping cart located along the St. Lawrence River. (Alycia Douglass/TC Media)

CORNWALL, Ontario - It appears there may be an answer in sight for the city’s ongoing shopping cart conundrum.

The issue has been discussed with the Property Standards Advisory Committee, as well as local store representatives over the past few months with one common goal: to solve the issue of the cart eyesore. Store representatives also took part in these meetings, sharing their thoughts on the topic, as well as potential solutions.

“Since then, we’ve drafted a bylaw which will require that – within reason, market owners be responsible that their property does not leave store premises,” said City of Cornwall Supervisor of Bylaw Enforcement, Christopher Rogers.

In the interim, store owners will be given information on how the proposed changes would impact their business. Currently, the city has no intention of imposing fines, but does expect stakeholders to take responsibility for their property.

“We’re not saying we want to set fines,” said Rogers. “What we’re saying is, either you pick up your carts or we will.”

The proposed bylaw will first go to council; if approved, it will force store owners to keep a tighter rein on their shopping carts.

“Whatever hasn’t been recovered by the owner will be collected weekly and taken back to Municipal Works yard with a service fee to retrieve them,” said Rogers. “We’re not doing this arbitrarily, and we’re trying to be as reasonable as possible.”

The retrieval fee is currently set at $25 per cart, which could become a costly expense for some stakeholders. As it stands, there have been mixed responses from local business owners.