Roughly 30 residents gathered in Penticton’s Nanaimo Square on May 25 to express their disappointment in a proposed bylaw that would outlaw sitting or lying on downtown sidewalks. They believe this legislation is discriminatory against the city’s homeless population. (Jordyn Thomson - Western News)

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Penticton’s city council is under fire over their Good Neighbour Bylaw amendment which would ban, and fine, sitting or lying on a number of sidewalks in the city.

Roughly 30 residents gathered in Nanaimo Square today to protest the Good Neighbour Bylaw amendment, which they believe is discriminatory against the city’s homeless population.

The amendment that would outlaw sitting or lying on the sidewalks of Main Street, Martin Street and Front Street from May to September 30. If the bylaw is given its third reading on June 4 at the next council meeting, it will go into effect and residents can be fineds $100 if they are found in violation.

READ MORE: Advocate says Penticton bylaw targeting less fortunate

Those that took part in the protest on May 25 said they are also upset with the recent lease agreement granted to Petrasek Bakery, 301 Main St., which includes a portion of the sidewalk and benches in Nanaimo Square.

The square has been the home of Monday Night Dinners, a weekly community initiative to feed the less fortunate, which will now be relocating to Sunrise Pharmacy, 749 Main St., as a result of the lease. Organizer Kristine Shepherd said she does not blame the bakery owners but feels this is a tactic by the city to push the homeless population out of the downtown.

READ MORE: Penticton group serving dinner to the less fortunate has to move

Tina Siebert, the city’s bylaw supervisor, said at a council meeting on May 21 that the bylaw would be used with discretion and it’s about “balancing the hammer and the heart.” According to city staff, the city and council have received numerous complaints from downtown business owners and residents about loitering and vagrancy in the downtown.

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

Just Posted

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

VIDEO: ‘Hands, washing hands’: Surrey teachers sing ‘Sweet Caroline’ with COVID-19 lesson

Staff at Fleetwood Park Secondary are featured in video posted to Youtube on Friday

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Most Read