Edmonton city council will decide next Wednesday on whether or not to push a controversial bylaw that will fine motorists $250 for idling their vehicles for more than three minutes.

The city’s transportation committee decided yesterday to push the issue forward to city council without any recommendations for or against the plan after hearing from dozens of speakers in favour of the bylaw that will be enforced by citizens snitching on drivers who idle.
Students from a junior high school, environmentalists, doctors and private citizens all told councillors that an idling bylaw would “change behaviours” in Edmonton.

“This is all complaint driven, it puts neighbour against neighbour and that’s the only way it’s going to be enforced,” said Coun. Tony Caterina to reporters. “Whether it stands up in a court of law, I don’t believe it would.”

Coun. Ben Henderson said an anti-idling bylaw would be in the “best interest of the city.”

Motorists are allowed under the proposed bylaw to let their vehicles idle for longer than three minutes in frigid weather like what’s been seen in Edmonton in recent weeks, but no limits have been set on how long it can be left running when temperatures are colder than –10 C.