It’s time to slap seriously heavy fines on those who litter and vandalize.
It’s not because the crimes are heinous but because they are so deliberate and completely unnecessary.
In the case of litter bugs and graffiti artists there is just no excuse for their actions. They cost private owners and municipalities grief and millions in cleanup costs. They do it on purpose and they don’t care who suffers and pays for their actions.
There is absolutely no reason for those who deliberately dump garbage in parks, roads and waterways. We have weekly pickup in every community in Ontario. The worst case scenario is they pay a small fee for putting extra bags by the roadside. But these thoughtless individuals have no problem dodging a $3 charge by causing expensive cleanups with the tab picked up by neighbours or taxpayers.
Since these crimes, considered minor, are deliberate, avoidable and expensive to others, fines should be so hefty that very few would risk getting caught.
And those who do get caught could fund the cleanup efforts they and like-minded cretins create.
Europeans do a better job because, if they behaved like Canadians, their smaller and ancient countries would have been overflowing with garbage centuries ago.
In the long run education is far more effective than punishment. We have witnessed hundreds of adults throwing trash, wrappers, cigarettes and food cartons onto sidewalks and roadways. For some reason the education system and parents failed to drill into them that it just isn’t right - no matter who else they see doing it.
It’s simple. Teach children that it’s wrong and severely punish adults who have forgotten. They need to understand their actions will not be tolerated and there will be consequences.