The City of Salmon Arm approved fines associated with its street solicitation bylaw at its July 22 council meeting. (File photo)

Fines approved for Salmon Arm panhandling bylaw

Mayor and council state fines to be issued as last resort

The City of Salmon Arm is proceeding with attaching fines to its street solicitation bylaw which has been in place since May.

As they voted it into effect, the city’s mayor and council stressed the fines are being put in place to ensure the bylaw is enforceable, and their use is to be a last resort.

At its July 22 meeting, council gave final reading to a bylaw amendment that would attach $50 fines to a number of infractions under the street solicitation bylaw.

The amendment allows bylaw and RCMP officers to issue fines for soliciting within 15 metres of a number of locations including restaurants with outdoor seating, ATM machines, bus stops and liquor or cannabis stores. Other actions that are now grounds for fines include soliciting a motor vehicle occupant, sitting or lying on the street and soliciting from a public bench or within a public plaza.

Read More: City’s proposed panhandling bylaw returns for public hearing

Read More: Salmon Arm proceeds with panhandling bylaw

Within the street solicitation bylaw, the city states its main intention is not to issue fines. Preference is given to education, verbal warnings and written notices as methods of achieving compliance with the bylaw.

Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond thanked everyone who reached out to offer their opinion on the fines and the street solicitation bylaw, both those in favour and those who expressed disappointment.

“I am 100 per cent confident that this fine will never be issued. It’s a piece of housekeeping, but also a tool that we have in the event of a very grave situation. We can’t leave the city in a situation where it wouldn’t be able to enforce its own bylaw,” Wallace-Richmond said.

Mayor Alan Harrison said he welcomes feedback both from local residents and from those farther away. He said much of the public reaction ignores the larger context. He said the fines and the bylaw are only one small piece of the conversation around poverty and homelessness in the area. He noted progress is being made on a 103-unit housing development in town which will contain supported housing units.

“We know that putting a roof over people who are homeless is one of the most important things we can do,” said Harrison.

The mayor added the city is working hard to bring an outreach worker for those experiencing homelessness to the community. He said the hope is that position will be funded by the province, and city representatives will be speaking with the minister responsible at the UBCM convention in September.

Read More: Fines added to Salmon Arm’s panhandling bylaw to be used as last resort

Read More: Word on the street: What do you think of the city’s panhandling bylaw?

Harrison said some have insinuated that the councillors who supported the bylaw and the associated fines are not caring and compassionate towards those who are experiencing homelessness, but this is simply not true.

Coun. Flynn stated that if the bylaw does not have fines attached, RCMP officers will not have any enforcement options besides the Safe Streets Act, which could result in criminal charges instead of fines.

The decision to approve the fine structure passed unanimously.

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren was absent for the meeting.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia MP urges end to ‘illegal roadblocks’ in solidarity with pipeline dispute

Rob Morrison says protestors across Canada need to remove roadblocks on roads, rail lines

Up to 15 cm of snow coming for Revelstoke

The snow should start tonight and continue through the weekend

Snow bike stunt movie filmed in downtown Revelstoke

The Way Home is an action sport film for Rockstar Energy, Polaris, and C3 Powersports

Letter: Dear Revelstoke City Council, say NO to highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The Central Alberta Economic Partnership is proposing a highway be built across Howse Pass

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Gas drops below a dollar per litre in Penticton

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Pawsative Pups: You have a new puppy, now what?

Lisa Davies is a new columnist for Black Press who writes about dog training

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Sewer service planned for South Okanagan community of Kaleden

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen plans to extend Okanagan Falls system into Kaleden

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Most Read