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Halifax: Legislating away Poverty - One by-law at a time

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

The Downtown Halifax Business Association is gearing up to ask the Halifax Regional Municipality to adopt and implement an 'aggressive panhandling bylaw'.

Paul MacKinnon, the executive director of the association, said his group will take a proposal to the Halifax Regional Council within the next few months.

While he acknowledges the underlying mental health issues and drug dependencies, he also suggests that 'escalating fines' should be implemented as penalties.

“A lot of people say what is the point of fining panhandlers if they don’t have money anyway. That really isn’t the point,” he said. “It’s really about giving the police the tools to do something else. If someone is in continual violation, it may in fact give police the power to take them before the mental health court or even before the criminal court and say ‘we sentence you to drug treatment, or a work program, or something else.’”.

Const. Shawn Currie said the solution may be to license panhandling.

"The advantage for us would be, we'd know all the panhandlers, could control any abnormal behaviour," said Currie.

There are no underlying systematic issues here evidently.

Panhandling and homelessness can simply be legislated, fined and licensed into non-existence with bylaws.

Who knew?

 With files from the Chronicle Herald & the Halifax Metro.

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211 words


What is wrong with people?

What is wrong with people? It's the business asociation that is trying to get the law(s) in place. They're claiming it's about helping the panhandlers but they're obviously only trying to help themselves.

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