LETTER: Aggressive panhandling needs regulation

A panhandling bylaw will not ban people from using public space, but will enable bylaw officers to regulate objectionable behaviour.

Re: “Discussion needed before adopting bylaw”

The writer has good intentions but more delays will not solve the issue of panhandling which has clearly become worse over the past few years. A key point of his letter must be corrected. A panhandling bylaw will not ban a group of people from using the public space, but will enable bylaw officers to regulate objectionable behaviour. All societies regulate behaviour for the common good.

For example, Nelson has a bylaw that regulates busking. Tourists, locals and business owners agree that buskers are an asset to our community. The exact opposite is true of panhandlers. We now have rules that prohibit public drunkenness and relieving one’s self in public. These necessary and desirable regulations enable everyone to enjoy our public spaces.

By the writer’s own words he believes that aggressive panhandling has taken place and that some “parameters” need to be created. Parameters means rules and in this situation having rules means adopting a bylaw to regulate panhandling.

Will Evans, Nelson


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