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Panhandling bylaws

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  • Panhandling bylaws

    Panhandling is certainly not unique to Edmonton. Hell, in Fort Macleod on a sunny summer afternoon, there's about 20 outside the fort as an example.

    I wonder if we have any data to show the efficacy of these laws. They're a good idea, but the reality is most of the people who panhandle aren't going to pay fines.

    When I lived in cowtown, I remember being accosted as much in the downtown as I am here. And Vancouver panhandlers are certainly more aggressive in my opinion.

    Perhaps I don't see this as such a big issue being a 6'2" male, but for women, especially in the evening, it must be intimidating.

  • #2
    Panhandlers are not Edmonton's Downtown problem

    As a woman who has worked downtown for years I have to comment that the panhandlers are not the problem downtown.

    Are they there? Yes. Are some aggressive? Maybe, but what I have witnessed is that the "regulars" keep any new people in check.

    I am more afraid of going into the Stan Milner library at any time of the day and being accosted.

    The area in front (facing Winston Churchill Square) is a minefield. Just after someone was pushed to the ground and killed there a couple of years ago, I had to call 911 as a couple of men were fighting and library security was no-where to be found.

    The bus shelter on the same side is never used by anyone with common sense. A male colleague said just a week ago, It would be suicide to wait in that shelter. I agree.

    The area in front of City Centre East (by HMV) is another known hot spot for drugs and violence.

    These problems are not (usually) because of panhandlers. Problems are more to do with disenfranchised youth and gang issues than aggressive panhandlers.

    A bylaw against panhandlers would not make the city core any safer. We already have laws on the books dealing with violence, drugs and public intoxication what we do not have is enforcement.

    Panhandlers are people and not just a hassle of being downtown.


    • #3
      I agree, I don't think we need more legislation / laws / bylaws dealing with these types of problems. More enforcement and 'noticable presence' can go a long ways in deterring these types of activities. Perhaps Oxford (owners of City Centre) could invest in closed circuit TV at the entrances with signage indicating that the area is being monitored. Likewise with the library and other 'gathering' areas.

      I have spent a lot of time in many downtown areas in Canadian and U.S. cities and Edmonton DOES NOT have a panhandling problem. These types of problems exist in every large city and small town in the world.


      • #4
        Great discussion, but we should probably keep similar topics in the same thread.

        Please take the rest of this discussion here:

        Time to grow up.