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

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

Just Posted

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Danny Fulton receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 27. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Drop-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic planned for Kelowna

Clinic at Kelowna Secondary School from June 22 to 24 from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Most Read