Protestors gather at a sit-in on June 4 outside of Penticton’s city hall to express their disapproval of the no sitting or lying on the sidewalk bylaw which was passed into effect by council shortly after the event. (Jordyn Thomson - Western News)

Penticton bans sitting and lying down on some sidewalks

The council voted 5-2 in favour of the bylaw amendments at the meeting on June 4

With a five-two vote in favour at the regular council meeting, Penticton has now banned sitting or lying on certain downtown sidewalks during spring and summer months.

On June 4, Penticton city council voted to adopt the proposed amendments to the Good Neighbour Bylaw which prohibits sitting or lying on the sidewalks of Ellis Street, Main Street and Martin Street from May to September 30. Those in violation of the amendments can face fines up to $100.

Coun. Campbell Watt and Coun. Julius Bloomfield voted against the bylaw amendments, with Bloomfield referencing that last council meeting staff talked about “balancing the hammer with the heart” and stated that he felt this bylaw was coming before proper supports are in place to help the city’s homeless population. Those opposed to the bylaw amendments said they believed it to be discriminatory against this demographic.

Coun. Jake Kimberley, Coun. Judy Sentes, Coun. Katie Robinson and Mayor John Vassilaki all sp0ke in favour of the bylaw amendments. Kimberley and Vassilaki both highlighted that this is meant to improve the safety of the downtown for all residents that use the sidewalks.

READ MORE: Homeless Penticton man protesting bylaw amendment at city hall

Protesters gathered outside city hall in advance of the council meeting to voice their disapproval of the amendments. Organizer Chelsea Terry said she did not believe this to be a feasible solution to the city’s problems and she hopes that more discussions will take place to get to the heart of the issue.

City staff said in a previous council meeting that bylaw officers intend to use discretion when implementing the bylaw, and that they have the power to coordinate with other social supports and partners to help those in need seek help.

Perry added that she hopes this debate will bring awareness to the community initiative Monday Night Dinners, which were recently impacted by a new lease agreement in the downtown which allowed a business to fence off a portion of the Nanaimo Square sidewalk where the dinners for those in need previously took place.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Leafs lose marathon season opener

Nelson fell 3-2 to Fernie in double overtime

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

CHECK THIS OUT: Libraries as safe spaces for the homeless

Anne DeGrace writes about an upcoming movie and talk focused on libraries and homelessness

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

PLACE NAMES: Kaslo and Sandon neighbourhoods

Narrow valley saw Sandon’s main street over a creek

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

Most Read