ted swears in 

New Year's Eve in Whistler is traditionally a time of raucous revelry. One evening when you can don your celebratory robes, let your hair down, send the past year on its way and ring in the new. But Whistler's new media behemoth — Nuisance Amendment Bylaw No. 1076, 1994 has attracted media attention from all over North America — will be looming over the shoulders of First Night rowdies who try and use language as a weapon. Mayor Ted Nebbeling, says the new bylaw is like any other, in effect every day of the year, every year. "This bylaw will be enforced on New Year's Eve," Nebbeling says. "But, in a perfect world the bylaw would never have to be enforced." Nebbeling and the municipal council enacted legislation last month prohibiting those who would "use profane swearing, or indecent, obscene, or grossly insulting language or to exhibit indecent or drunken behaviour in a park, public place, or upon any highway." So what does this all mean? Nebbeling says it means municipal bylaw officers will have increased power. And in order to keep the peace and eliminate problems before they start on New Year's Eve, officers will wield their increased powers. Last New Year's Eve, bylaw officers had to detain rowdy partiers until the RCMP arrived to arrest the problem-makers. Under the new bylaw, Nebbeling says the bylaw department now has the authority to detain people and make arrests. So far, four people have been charged under the new bylaw, all for urinating in public. Civil Liberties groups in B.C. have said they will mount a legal challenge against the bylaw as soon as someone is charged for swearing in public. Nebbeling says bring it on. "We have had our legal advisors go over the bylaw and we are very confident in its wording." he says. "The issue here is not that we are creating a bylaw to harass youngsters, we are creating a bylaw to protect people." Swearing itself is not the target of the bylaw it is "when language becomes a tool of aggression or coercion," that the bylaw will be used, Nebbeling says. "If I am walking through the village and I drop my ski boot on my toe, you can bet I am going to be a champion swearer," Nebbeling says. "That type of action is not going to be the focus of the bylaw — we all swear. What we want to say is if you hamper the passage of others or use language as a negative tool, that will not be tolerated. "We are saying that is not going to be part of the Whistler experience."


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