Saskatoon won’t be enacting stricter rules on panhandlers after all.
A 5-5 vote at city council Monday wasn’t enough to pass new rules to ban panhandling around people using parking pay stations and within eight metres of theatres and liquor stores.
Under council rules, if a vote is tied the motion or amendment in question fails.
The amendment to the city’s panhandling bylaw had initially been supported by a 6-5 vote in December and January, but Ward 4 Coun. Troy Davies was absent from Monday’s meeting.
Mayor Charlie Clark opposed the stricter rules along with councillors Hilary Gough, Sarina Gersher, Ann Iwanchuk and Mairin Loewen.
Councillors Darren Hill, Bev Dubois, Randy Donauer, Zach Jeffries and Cynthia Block supported the rule changes.
The amendment failed first reading due to the tie vote, cancelling out any debate on the matter.
In December, Mayor Clark raised concerns over the potential effect of the changes.
“Creating all these little buffer zones and trying to essentially move people around will not address the concern of safety,” he told 650 CKOM’s Brent Loucks.
He added the best way to address panhandling would be to get people off the streets rather than chasing them with measuring sticks.
Coun. Hill expressed a desire to bring the bylaw amendments back to city hall, but under council rules, he’ll have to wait one year before doing so.
“There’s no rush at this point,” he said.