Bylaw Enforcement and Animal Control

Bylaw Enforcement

Bylaw Enforcement is to promote, facilitate and enforce general compliance with bylaws that pertain to the health, safety and welfare of the community. The goal of bylaw enforcement is not to penalize but to achieve compliance through education in order to preserve the quality of life enjoyed by the citizens of Smithers.

The Bylaw Enforcement Officer investigates written complaints received from the public about alleged violations of various municipal bylaws. These regulations may include such things as: 

  • Property conditions (i.e. graffiti, unsightly premises, nuisance and noise);
  • Animal control and licensing;
  • Signs (i.e. unauthorized placement/construction);
  • Business Licensing and Zoning;
  • Parking and snow removal.

While there are certain areas of enforcement that are safety related and require proactive enforcement, the majority of bylaws are enforced on a complaint basis. This ensures that the Town is serving the needs of the community and that the complaints received are of high importance.

How to Make a Complaint

To make a complaint regarding a violation of regulations contained in one of these bylaws, the Town requires the complainant to provide the following information:

  1. Name, address and phone number of the complainant;
  2. Relationship to the property or individual subject to the complaint;
  3. Location of the property and description of the issue.

Complaints are received in various ways:

  • Online (request for service)
  • By phone (250-847-1600) or fax (250-847-1601)
  • In person at the Town Office (Monday to Friday 8:30-4:30) at 1027 Aldous Street

Should the complainant refuse to provide the above information, no action may be taken by the Town to investigate the complaint. Complainant information is considered as confidential and will not be released to the person whose property is under complaint, unless under an order made by the Provincial Freedom of Information Commissioner.

After a written complaint is submitted, the Bylaw Enforcement Officer may wish to call and confirm information, or ask further questions regarding the issue.

Dog Licensing & Control

All dogs over 4 months of age in the Town of Smithers are required to be licensed. Licenses assist in identifying a dog should it be lost, impounded, injured, etc. In addition, the license database allows the Town of Smithers to identify potentially dangerous or aggressive dogs.

Dog License Application

Dog licenses can be purchased at the Town of Smithers Office (1027 Aldous Street) and expire on December 31st of each year. License fees are as follows:

  • $15 for a spayed or neutered dog (certificate signed by a veterinarian required).
  • $50 for a dog that is NOT spayed or neutered.
  • $150 for an aggressive dog.
  • $300 for a dangerous dog.

Owner Responsibilities

Dog owners are responsible for complying with the Bylaw No. 1780 Animal Control and Licencing, which specifies basic dog care standards and owner responsibilities. Examples include:

  • Providing basic food, water, shelter, sanitation and health;
  • Proper care of aggressive or dangerous dogs;
  • Leashing when in public and maintaining control of the dog at all times;
  • Cleaning up after the dog.

The Bylaw No. 1780 Animal Control and Licencing, outlines fees for noncompliance. Typically this includes impoundment fees, dogs not on a leash or running at large, owner's failing to clean up after their dog and poor care/sanitation conditions.

Backyard Hen Keeping:

On December 8th, 2015, the Town of Smithers Council approved a bylaw to permit the keeping of up to 6 Backyard Hens for domestic purpose as an auxiliary use to a detached, single-family dwelling on any lot greater than 550m2 (5,920 ft2) and zoned R-1, R-2, R-6, R-7, A-1 and P-1 Zones.  There are a number of regulations that property owners must follow including the registration of your Backyard Hen Flock for a $15 fee. The following links will provide you with more information regarding Backyard Hen Keeping in Smithers:

Financial Services

The Town of Smithers Finance Department serves to monitor, control and allocate financial resources in order to achieve the Town's immediate and long term goals and objectives.

Financial Statements:

Development Services & Planning

The Development Services Department is responsible for land-use planning, development, business licensing, bylaw enforcement, building inspection and permitting, and overall engineering management of the Town's municipal infrastructure inclusive of roads, structures, water, sanitary and storm sewers and facilities.

Works and Operations

The Works and Operations Department is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Town's infrastructure as well as construction of specific capital works projects.

Works and Operations Direct Line (messages received for after hours):
Tel: 250.847.1649

Tel: 250.877.1562

Areas of responsibility:


Administration & Human Resources

Administration is comprised of the Council support services, Human Resources, Economic Development, and Public Relations. It is responsible for the provision of statutory, legislative, and administrative support services to Council, its committees, the public, and other municipal departments and agencies. Functions include: procedural advice, preservation of minutes, bylaws and other Town records; administration of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act; and conduct of referendums, counter petitions, and local government elections.

Human Resources administers the Town's human resource policies, collective agreements, recruitment, occupational health and safety, benefit administration, job evaluations, and training.

Economic Development and Public Relations facilitates growth in the Town's employment and tax bases by providing information and assistance to business, marketing the Town to new business prospects, producing promotional and statistical publications in coordination with outside agencies, and performing the Town's public information function.

Prevention & Community Safety


"To enforce the Town's bylaws in an efficient and timely manner, using a fair, respectful and consistent approach. The Prevention and Community Safety Officer (PCSO) endeavours to take into account the viewpoint of all parties as well as the broad effect on the community as a whole."

What We Do

Local Governments have authority, under the Local Government Act, to make statutory law (known as "bylaws") regulating a wide, yet limited, variety of matters. Some of the bylaws enforced by the PCSO regulates parking on the street, bicycling on the sidewalks, yard conditions, the keeping of animals and noise.

The PCSO responds to complaints as well as enforces observed infractions. Most problems are solved through voluntary compliance, however, where this does not happen, the appropriate enforcement action is taken. This could include a prosecution (a court process to deal with an offence that is alleged to have been committed), a court order (a court process to stop something from being done, or to require something to be done) or taking direct action (such as having a Town crew clean up an untidy yard, at the owner's expense).

Not all matters are regulated by bylaw - some are regulated by Provincial or Federal Acts and enforced by other authorities, and some are simply not regulated by statutory law. When someone is bothered by the actions of another that are not regulated by statutory law, the person's legal recourse is to consult a lawyer for the purpose of initiating a common law, civil proceeding. An example of this would be your neighbour allowing his hedge to overhang onto your property, (since there is no law regulating hedges). Of course, matters like this are usually best handled through open communication between the parties involved.

Contact:  Matt Davey, Prevention and Community Safety Officer
Phone:    250-847-1600
Fax:        250-847-1601
Email:     general@smithers.ca
Hours:    Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm.

For matters requiring immediate attention it is best to call the RCMP non-emergency telephone line at 250-847-3233. The RCMP can dispatch a Prevention & Community Safety Officer or, if it is during off hours, an RCMP member. Please note that the RCMP is authorized to enforce the Town's bylaws.

Fire Department & Emergency Services

Fire Emergency  911

Fire Non-Emergency  250-847-2015

For more Emergency Services in the Smithers area, please go to Contacts & Emergencies.

Emergency Preparedness Information:

Fire Protection Boundary Map

Fire Department

The Fire Department with its complement of 40 volunteer firefighters provide services besides structural firefighting such as the following:

  • First Responder (pre-hospital care) services
  • Highway rescue
  • Aircraft firefighting
  • Fire prevention
  • Public fire safety education
  • Volunteer fire fighting training

Fire prevention focuses on areas such as code enforcement and fire inspection services. Public fire safety education provides general information on preventing accidents in the home and workplace through lectures, tours, written information and fire extinguisher demonstrations.


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1 – Rescue Truck, 650 gpm & CAFS
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1 – Sprinkler Protection Unit Trailer, Type 2

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Departments & Services

The Town of Smithers is made up of a number of departments. These pages will give you a description of the duties and responsibilities of each department, and further inform you as to the services available through the Town of Smithers.

Department of Recreation, Parks and Culture

The mandate of the department is to offer recreation programs and services for all residents of Smithers. Programs and services are delivered to all ages from preschoolers to seniors with a focus on inclusive, age appropriate, safe leadership, developmental opportunities. This includes passive and active facilities (ie: rink, sport fields, trails, playgrounds, etc.) partnerships with local school boards, service groups, private recreation providers, local sport groups and assisting with the development and delivery of various special events.