Residents of Middle Sackville awoke to another illegal offering this morning: fat bundles of pink, plastic-wrapped advertising flyers that had been tossed onto their driveways in spite of a town bylaw that requires them to be placed in mailboxes, on doorsteps or in special tubes or receptacles.
After the bylaw took effect in December, the driveway flyers kept coming, especially in Middle Sackville, courtesy of Brunswick News. That company is now owned by Postmedia, the country’s biggest newspaper chain.
“When the bylaw was approved by council, we began with education with the company responsible for the delivery of the flyers,” Treasurer Micheal Beal told councillors on Tuesday.
“We went through months of education, reported things that we had seen that went against the bylaw,” he added.
“We then indicated a few months back that we would begin enforcement of the bylaw and issuing fines.”
Beal said that so far, Brunswick News has been issued four, $140 fines and after the latest one, the company promised to hold another meeting with its drivers and to conduct “route audits” to make sure the bylaw is followed.
He said that the company has also indicated that, if it needs to, it will change carrier drivers to ensure compliance with the flyer bylaw.
Beal added that the company has been warned that if the bylaw infractions continue, town council may decide to ban residential flyer delivery altogether.
Moncton issued dozens of fines in the year after it passed a similar bylaw in 2020, but Austin Henderson, the city’s manager of communications, said today there have been only 18 complaints so far this year.
Meantime, Mike Power, Vice President of Editorial and Sales Operations for Brunswick News, says the company is doing everything possible to make sure its delivery contractors comply with Sackville’s bylaw.
“We acknowledge that the bylaw is there and we give instructions to our contractors about what we are obligated to do,” he said during a telephone interview.
“We are making our best efforts.”
Power says the company distributes just over 2,000 flyer bundles in Sackville each week.
He declined to discuss how much the flyer contractors are paid.