Respect required at township facilities

BRUCEDALE – A standard of respect and responsible behaviour has been set for parks and facilities operated by the Township of Guelph-Eramosa.

On Jan 13, councillors adopted the Rzone policy, which applies to all visitors and users of township recreation facilities.

“Bullying, violence, intimidation, vandalism, threats, and discriminatory behaviour are unfortunately societal behaviours that are witnessed in our programs and in our facilities,” said recreation director Robin Milne in a report.

Previously, staff had no  clear authority to deal with issues that were not clearly criminal.

Rzone is a proactive education and awareness strategy used by 15 Ontario municipalities.

Logos will be posted to remind individuals and groups that it is in effect.

The township asks that any form of inappropriate behavior be reported to staff.

Unacceptable behaviours include threats, aggression, use of alcohol or drugs, possession of weapons, harassment, verbal assault (including profane or abusive language), physical assault, vandalism, theft, inciting violence, bullying, disregard of township bylaws and rules, or other illegal activity.

Staff will investigate and may apply sanctions against offenders.

Players in sporting events will continue to be regulated by the rules of the sport, but Rzone will apply to spectators and teams not playing.

“The anticipation is that the Rzone framework will contribute to safer, healthier, more respectful recreation environments,” said Milne.