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Higher fines could hit Vancouver's homeless hard


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#1 Lockout Casualty

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:40 PM

Higher fines could hit Vancouver's homeless hard

by CARLITO PABLO on JAN 9, 2013 at 3:49 PM


VIOLATING CITY OF Vancouver bylaws by sleeping on the streets or doing illegal vending may become a lot more costly.

Staff are recommending a 400-percent increase in maximum fines, from the current amount of $2,000 to a stiff $10,000. The proposed hike covers 42 bylaws. It is subject to a public hearing on Tuesday (January 15).

While councillors are required to remain neutral on matters being taken up at public hearings, Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs agreed to explain the context in which this measure is being deliberated. According to Meggs, the increase brings the city’s fines in line with changes made to the Vancouver Charter in 2009.

Meggs also noted that, based on a report prepared by staff, profits made by those who violate bylaws far exceed in many cases the fines the city levies. These infractions include illegal parking and advertising on the sides of buildings.

“The staff argument is simply that there is no deterrent,” Meggs told the Straight by phone.

Non-Partisan Association councillor George Affleck is interested to see who will show up to speak at the public hearing. He noted in a phone interview with the Straight that the increase is a “significant jump”.

The bylaws covered by the suggested fine increase are grouped into three categories: operation and management of businesses; building safety, land use and development, and property maintenance; and use of public spaces and conduct of individuals. Two of these bylaws are being challenged in court by Pivot Legal Society on behalf of a homeless man who was ticketed by police and engineering staff several times.

“Obviously $10,000 is quite severe and impossible to pay for a homeless person, and so is $2,000,” Pivot lawyer Scott Bernstein told the Straight by phone. “It sucks that much more, but it’s still something that they won’t be able to pay.”

Jean Swanson, a long-time antipoverty activist in the Downtown Eastside, said that it’s “horrible” that poor street vendors are being ticketed. “So to give them higher tickets is very punitive,” Swanson told the Straight in a phone interview.

Civic watchdog Randy Helten suggested that the proposed increase seems a bit arbitrary. The founder of City Hall Watch told the Straight by phone, “Staff should present comparative information about what the fines are in other leading municipalities in Canada, and provide an adequate basis for that number.”
http://www.straight....s-homeless-hard

:picard:
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#2 Grapefruits

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:01 PM

Well that should help get them off the streets... :picard:
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#3 Heretic

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:04 PM

Yep...go after those just trying to survive...brilliant....
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#4 schlaBAM

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:11 PM

And how are they expecting the majority of them to pay the fines?
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#5 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:17 PM

And how are they expecting the majority of them to pay the fines?


Or any of them.

Immediately my thought.
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#6 Salmonberries

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:18 PM

What happens to these people if they can't pay the fine?

Three hots and a cot?

That's a powerful deterrent right there.
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#7 Tearloch7

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:23 PM

What happened here? .. someone in Kits complain about the ambiance? .. pity ..
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#8 :D

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:27 PM

Glad you all read the title, but this is a broad stroke that hits a couple dozen bylaws.
Some, I'm sure, you wouldn't be as up in arms about defending.
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#9 canucks since 77

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:50 PM

Bahahahhahahah. IQ tests for Van council members are in order.
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#10 Tearloch7

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:55 PM

Bahahahhahahah. IQ tests for Van council members are in order.


All I can say is .. :lol: ::D
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#11 Armada

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:27 AM

Send em to Chilliwack.
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#12 canuck_trevor16

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:31 AM

Low income people cannot even afford $100 how you proposal they play 10,000$$$ Who idea is this? and what the hell is there a fine for sleeping on the street, seem to be just profit for the city
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#13 ronthecivil

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:25 PM

The whole point of being homeless is you don't pay for stuff period. The fine could be ten cents or a million doesn't matter.

Heck, give a homeless guy a palate of clean drinking water so that he can be healthier and he will walk around the corner, dump it all out, take the bottles to the depot, and go buy himself a bottle of booze.

If you take away their ability to vend they will just steal instead.

What are you going to do, threaten them with jail? Heck, if I was homeless when fall came around I would go on a crime spree and if I spent the winter in jail big deal. If you don't get caught you got all kinds of money to make it through. Win win.

Applying normal rules to abnormal people does nothing. Well, maybe something, but often not what you hoped, and just as often something even worse.
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#14 derr12

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

Yeah, try mailing a fine to someone who doesnt have an address. Im thinking City counsel may be on the same drugs as some of those ppl on hastings.
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#15 D-Money

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:39 PM

You can't get blood from a stone. Setting an arbitrary 1-pint target won't change this.
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#16 canucks since 77

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:16 PM

The whole point of being homeless is you don't pay for stuff period. The fine could be ten cents or a million doesn't matter.

Heck, give a homeless guy a palate of clean drinking water so that he can be healthier and he will walk around the corner, dump it all out, take the bottles to the depot, and go buy himself a bottle of booze.

If you take away their ability to vend they will just steal instead.

What are you going to do, threaten them with jail? Heck, if I was homeless when fall came around I would go on a crime spree and if I spent the winter in jail big deal. If you don't get caught you got all kinds of money to make it through. Win win.

Applying normal rules to abnormal people does nothing. Well, maybe something, but often not what you hoped, and just as often something even worse.

I'm sorry but your post leads one to believe that homeless people prefer their present existence over a secure comfortable existence. I do not believe this is the case.
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#17 ronthecivil

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

I'm sorry but your post leads one to believe that homeless people prefer their present existence over a secure comfortable existence. I do not believe this is the case.


Of course they would prefer a secure comfortable existence. Just don't expect them to want to pay for, care for, or respect their neighbors should they happen to be in a secure comfortable experience particularly if any of those things happens to conflict with a higher priority like booze or drugs.

Heck, even homeless people will avoid shelters because (shock of shock) they are full of homeless people and they don't want to be living with them either!
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#18 Blame Obama

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

please support your local homeless people! they have bills to pay now. throw all your empties on the streets.
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#19 Bertuzzi Babe

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

What are you going to do, threaten them with jail? Heck, if I was homeless when fall came around I would go on a crime spree and if I spent the winter in jail big deal. If you don't get caught you got all kinds of money to make it through. Win win.
.


This used to be the standard mo of some folks here in Q-Town. One in particular, a town character for many years, come late October, early November, would stand in front of the RCMP station/post office (they were combined at the time and on the main street in town) and publicly urinate and defecate on the sidewalk while grinning at officers through the window. Or he'd go shoplift something out of the jewelry store next to the cop shop and then walk into the detachment and turn himself in with the 'goods'. It got to be a standing joke around town...haven't seen Frank for awhile, it must be November the 3rd.

Sadly, one year the RCMP refused to play along and Frank's body was found the following March when the last of the snowbanks melted. The dogs, coyotes and wolves had been there first before he was found....and it was a sad, lonely and tragic ending for someone who was actually well-educated ...one of the first aboriginal men from this area to go to university and graduate......and as aggravating and annoying as Frank could be at times, he was a treasure, well-known to all here and has been missed.

He was a very smart man and knew exactly how to play the system......and in conversation, always said..... "Why should I work for a living when the government is so kind to pay me just for being an Indian?".

Edited by Bertuzzi Babe, 17 January 2013 - 01:05 PM.

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#20 MANGO

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:57 PM

hahaha......Yeah, and when they cant pay, we'll charge them really high interest rates. That will teach them. typical upper crust thinking. These people are so out of touch. Obviously, they have never seen a homeless person in their natural state.
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