Nelson City Council has received a lot of mail about its proposed bylaw to regulate panhandling.

Panhandling bylaw: Nelson council backs off, seeks more input

Nelson council has received a lot of mail about its proposed bylaw to regulate panhandling.

Nelson council has deferred its decision on a proposed panhandling bylaw for a month.  Mayor Deb Kozak opened the discussion of the bylaw at last night’s council meeting by stating that council had heard from many people about the bylaw since it was introduced at a council meeting on September 14.

The bylaw was to be given third reading last night, but Councillor Michael Dailly started the discussion by saying, “I am recommending we don’t give this a third reading. Panhandling season is coming to a close so it is not imperative that we do this right now. I think we should do this right and make sure there is proper community input. I would like to hear a recommendation from the committee on homelessness and broader community input as well.”

Councillors voted unanimously to put the decision off for a month and ask management staff to in the meantime figure out how to get more input, and it was suggested that the next committee of the whole meeting on October 26 would be a good place to hear from people.  The monthly committee of the whole meetings are set up specifically to hear presentations from the public.

Mayor Deb Kozak said councillors could get their own input in the community because “all council members are connected through their portfolios to community. Councillor Morrison is with the economic development groups, we have councillor Dailly with the affordable housing committee, Councillor Cherbo is connected with seniors groups. . .”

Councillor Janice Morrison said she agrees with putting the decision off because, “I had some concerns around the wording.”

Councillor Anna Purcell agreed and said, “We should air it a bit more among ourselves and among the business groups and different social service groups in town. It feels like a big deal and it is happening fairly quickly.”

Kozak said she has even had a couple of people who used to live on the street tell her they were in favour of the bylaw, “so I am receiving comments right across the gamut.”

At the September 14 council meeting at which the bylaw was introduced and given first and second reading, it was reported that the bylaw was the idea of bylaw officers and the police, and driven by complaints from downtown merchants, although there was no mention of how many complaints and only one example was given of the exact nature of those complaints. At that meeting, no councillors expressed any need for more public input.

The proposed bylaw, prefaced by an explanation to council from management staff about some proposed changes from the version presented on September 14, is attached below.

Nelson draft Panhandling Bylaw 3321, 2015

Just Posted

Forester’s video animation helps explain Nelson’s wildfire risks

John Cathro’s video shows who owns land in and around Nelson

‘Surrounding a community with a fire break won’t help’

RDCK offers fire danger assessments to homeowners

Carfentanil found for first time in Castlegar

Killer opiod found in local illegal drug market

LETTER: 140,000 jobs are at risk

From reader Robert MacCrae

LETTER: Grateful for guardian angels

From reader Botella (Bo) Rudolph

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Ex-mayor of northern village claims its drivers are overpaying ICBC $1,800 a year

Darcy Repen says data shows Telkwa households are being ripped off for car insurance

Deadly synthetic drug found in Kamloops that puts users in ‘zombielike’ state

Interior Health warning says substance causes ‘speedy, trippy-like symptoms’ and hallucinations

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

Green Party leader set to get married in Victoria

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

Most Read