Nanton surveillance bylaw changes concerning to residents

July 18, 2023 0 Comments

Nanton, Alta. –

A resident living in a town south of Calgary is raising concerns about a potential change that would restrict how people use their own security cameras.

The Nanton town council is considering amendments to an existing bylaw that would, if approved, prevent residents from capturing anything beyond their property line, but residents would still be able to capture footage of the public roadways and alleys surrounding their property.

It also means your surveillance system couldn’t record anything in your neighbor’s yard.

For resident Maria Wannop, it’s not something that makes sense.

“My car was a hit when we first moved in here and because I didn’t have camera footage, the police can’t do anything. So if they’re going to propose this bylaw, then how are they going to protect all the citizens who have to park on these public streets?”

Wannop complains the new bylaw wouldn’t benefit anyone.

“The only people it’s going to benefit (are) the ones who have something to hide.

“They’re not protecting the citizens of Nanton, they’re protecting the criminals who think it’s okay to do damage to people’s property.”

Wannop says she doesn’t have any security cameras set up herself, though she has considered getting some.

She says she lives in a quad-plex and is worried the new bylaw will limit her ability to use a security camera.

If approved, the changes would also restrict night-vision systems, surveillance drone equipment and electronic listening devices.

The bylaw was put forward by the council after some residents expressed privacy concerns.

It has passed a first reading and goes before council again on July 10.

Wannop is urging any resident who also feels concerned with the proposed changes to make their feelings known at the next council meeting.

In a statement, the town of Nanton told CTV there’s a lot of misinformation circulating about the proposed bylaw:

“The focus of the proposed bylaw is balancing property owner’s desire for security through surveillance methods with neighbors’ right to privacy and the enjoyment of their property. It does not compromise the capability of property owners to surveillance [sic] their own properties and adjacent public areas (streets, laneways, boulevards), so has no impact on doorbell cameras, for example,” it said.

The town hopes residents will read the bylaw and submit their thoughts by July 10.

“This bylaw is intended to tackle something that the criminal code is currently struggling with – invasion of privacy on private property by unwanted cameras and lighting systems pointing where they should not. It is not focused on the general regulation of video or lighting surveillance for reasonable privacy property security,” it said.

The town of Nanton is located roughly 60 kilometers south of Calgary and 120 kilometers northwest of Lethbridge.

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