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

Just Posted

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

The pandemic is far from over, says Kimberley Mayor

Be vigilant about hygiene, social distancing and masks, he says

MP Morrison faults federal Throne Speech as new Parliament session begins

Kootenay-Columbia representative criticizes a lack of focus on jobs, support for resource sector

Kimberley Public Library re-opens doors to the public

Library has solely offered curbside service since onset of pandemic

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Most Read