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.

Just Posted

Twilight concert series continues with Crescent Sky

Group will perform at Mission’s Fraser River Heritage Park on June 28 at 7 p.m.

Mission school acquires new instruments thanks to grant, community support

Students at Ecole Christine Morrison performed a Music Monday assembly

Banner contest to focus on Mission’s nature, beauty, culture and heritage

The Mission Downtown Business Association is holding a banner design competition.

‘I feel free’ says mother of Mission murder victim after daughter’s belongings returned

After 11 years, Rosemarie Surakka said she feels like it is 99.9 per cent over

PHOTOS: National Indigenous Peoples Day in Mission

Friday’s celebration at Fraser River Heritage Park featured food, dancing, drumming and more

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbot’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Plane veers off runway, into ditch at Langley Airport

Fire, ambulance, and police are on scene

Okanagan RCMP bike patrol rolls up on alleged stolen vehicle from Burnaby

The driver, a 30-year-old Kelowna man, has been held in custody and is facing possible charges of possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer

Most Read