After two hours of discussion, Monday Saskatoon City Council decided to move forward with changes to panhandling regulations.
In a 6-5 vote, they passed a recommendation to prohibit panhandling on a street, sidewalk, or another public place within 8
metres of a doorway to a cinema, theatre, or performing arts venue.
They also passed an amendment that means panhandlers can’t approach people using a parking pay station or waiting in line to pay at one.
Administration has been tasked with reviewing bylaws from other cities to see if they have any buffers around businesses serving and selling alcohol.
Brent Penner is the executive director of the Downtown Saskatoon Business Improvement District he said the changes are fairly positive.
“I think what people have to keep in mind is many of these buffer zones already existed,” he said.”it’s just to ensure the bylaw stays current.”
The bylaw will continue to be enforced by Community Services and police, but will likely be education based something that suits Penner just fine.
“Really in this, we’re hoping that once people are educated about it that most people will comply and it will create a safe environment for everyone,” he said.
During the meeting, council stressed that these changes were to target aggressive panhandlers, not people sitting on the sidewalk asking for change.