Protestors gather at a sit-in on June 4 outside of Penticton’s city hall to express their disapproval of the no sitting or lying on the sidewalk bylaw which was passed into effect by council shortly after the event. (Jordyn Thomson - Western News)

Penticton bans sitting and lying down on some sidewalks

The council voted 5-2 in favour of the bylaw amendments at the meeting on June 4

With a five-two vote in favour at the regular council meeting, Penticton has now banned sitting or lying on certain downtown sidewalks during spring and summer months.

On June 4, Penticton city council voted to adopt the proposed amendments to the Good Neighbour Bylaw which prohibits sitting or lying on the sidewalks of Ellis Street, Main Street and Martin Street from May to September 30. Those in violation of the amendments can face fines up to $100.

Coun. Campbell Watt and Coun. Julius Bloomfield voted against the bylaw amendments, with Bloomfield referencing that last council meeting staff talked about “balancing the hammer with the heart” and stated that he felt this bylaw was coming before proper supports are in place to help the city’s homeless population. Those opposed to the bylaw amendments said they believed it to be discriminatory against this demographic.

Coun. Jake Kimberley, Coun. Judy Sentes, Coun. Katie Robinson and Mayor John Vassilaki all sp0ke in favour of the bylaw amendments. Kimberley and Vassilaki both highlighted that this is meant to improve the safety of the downtown for all residents that use the sidewalks.

READ MORE: Homeless Penticton man protesting bylaw amendment at city hall

Protesters gathered outside city hall in advance of the council meeting to voice their disapproval of the amendments. Organizer Chelsea Terry said she did not believe this to be a feasible solution to the city’s problems and she hopes that more discussions will take place to get to the heart of the issue.

City staff said in a previous council meeting that bylaw officers intend to use discretion when implementing the bylaw, and that they have the power to coordinate with other social supports and partners to help those in need seek help.

Perry added that she hopes this debate will bring awareness to the community initiative Monday Night Dinners, which were recently impacted by a new lease agreement in the downtown which allowed a business to fence off a portion of the Nanaimo Square sidewalk where the dinners for those in need previously took place.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Saanich serves up virtual Strawberry Festival

Residents invited to look back on 54 years of festivals

Stelly’s grads shocked after ‘anonymous friend’ pays for dinner

Friends took limo to Deep Cove Chalet to celebrate after graduation festivities cancelled

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

VicPD investigating possible hate crime on BC Transit bus

A young Black man was randomly struck by a Caucasian man who he did not know

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Campbell River’s defunct cruise ship terminal to undergo evaluation for future plans

With no cruise ship coming through, the $16million terminal has been a white elephant for over 13 years

Most Read