Bylaw geared to moving panhandlers off medians

Chilliwack is moving to quell aggressive panhandling on city-owned property with a new bylaw amendment.

City council voted Monday to amend its Traffic and Highways bylaw with that goal in mind.

“It was fairly outdated so we added some definitions, like what panhandling is and locations where this activity is not permitted,” said Coun. Chuck Stam, who is also chair of the public safety advisory committee.

The recommendation was to seek a way for enforcement officers to address panhandling, especially on highway medians, because asking them to move along wasn’t working.

“The idea is basically to provide police and bylaw enforcement with the tools to do a better job of controlling the panhandling in our city.

“I think we’ve done that with these new definitions and the greater clarity this offers,” Stam said.

At this point the proposed fines are still being reviewed, and will be presented separately to council, so it’s not yet known what the ticket amount might be for panhandling.

Residents had complained to the city about people begging for change, and panhandlers approaching people in mall parking lots or from atop highway medians.

“Panhandlers were operating in some fairly unsafe conditions and in high traffic,” Stam stressed.

“There was no legal mechanism to get these individuals off the centre median of the highway.”

The bylaw, which has passed introduction and three readings, will make it illegal to engage in panhandling:

• on any highway which delays traffic;

• which interferes with safe movement of traffic;

• which causes any obstruction; or

• risks harm to the panhandler.

Stam said the amended bylaw is “very much a copycat” piece of legislation, similar to that adopted by other Lower Mainland municipalities.

Just Posted

Chilliwack RCMP find chemicals and cannabis extract in illicit lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Chilliwack RCMP seek suspects in rash of poppy donation box thefts

Incidents at four different locations in Sardis in the days leading up to Remembrance Day

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Train ride at Minter store not part of this year’s festive fun

Tough decision made to stop seasonal train in its tracks after injury suffered by Brian Minter

Players Guild challenges Chilliwack residents to solve classic Agatha Christie whodunit mystery

The Chilliwack Players Guild is performing Murder on the Nile from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Most Read