A Penticton resident is hoping a sit-in tomorrow will draw attention to what she feels is the city’s unfair way of addressing loitering downtown this summer with a $100 fine.
Chelsea Terry created the Nanaimo Square Sit-In from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Facebook calling on residents who disagree with the city’s plan to come out and protest it.
“It’s time we sent a message to council about their precious tourist season. I’m tired of feeling like the people who live here for all twelve months of the year get no say in anything,” reads the event page.
“It’s basically an unfair bylaw that targets the homeless people directly. They are clearly not going to be targeting kids at the parade or anything like that,” Terry said.
On May 21, city councillors voted 5-2 to amend the Good Neighbourhood Bylaw to include sitting or lying down on the sidewalk as an obstruction to businesses located in about a dozen streets on Ellis, Main and Martin streets.
These changes to the bylaw will only be in effect from May 1 to Sept. 30
Terry also feels that the amended bylaw provides a loose interpretation of what an obstruction. She thinks it could be abused.
Those who attend are also encouraged to donate to Monday Night Dinner, which is a group that offers Monday night dinners to those in need. The group was recently told by the city it would have to move from Nanaimo Square.
Terry suggests people bringing socks, bottled water, sunblock, wet wipes, canned goods, dried goods, grocery cards and coffee cards to donate.
“Bring a blanket, bring a pillow. Let’s get cozy on their precious sidewalks and support those that need it most.”