Quesnel City Council has begun the process of developing a Nuisance Behavior Bylaw for a portion of downtown Quesnel.
Councillor Scott Elliott is the Chair of the Policy and Bylaw Committee…
“This includes panhandling, loitering, smoking of cigarettes, vaping, cannabis. We continue to get a lot of complaints about what takes place in our downtown as far as the loitering and panhandling and even smoking etc.”
There was some concern that a bylaw could be challenged in court.
Mayor Bob Simpson noted that regardless of that, Council has to develop tools it believes are necessary to protect the public interest at large…
“To allow people unobstructed access to our sidewalks. We have a lot of people with mobility devices, moms pushing strollers, individuals in walkers, so even from that perspective some of the obstruction that’s occurring downtown, whether it’s a person who sits on a sidewalk and shoots up drugs, or an individuals who is passed out on the sidewalk, or an individual who is laying out goods for sale on the sidewalk, it really doesn’t matter to us what the nature of the obstruction is, it’s the fact that our sidewalks need to be clear for our general public to be able to move around safely.”
The actual bylaw will come later however.
The vote at this week’s City Council meeting was strictly on where this bylaw would be enforced.
At this point that would be St. Laurent Avenue 100 to 400 blocks, Barlow Avenue 100 to 400 blocks and Reid Street, 200 to 400 blocks.
Council also indicated that this area could be expanded down the road.