KAMLOOPS, B.C. - City officials will consider whether new parking kiosks in downtown Kamloops, B.C., should be legislated off-limits for panhandlers — the same as for ATMs and bank entrances.
Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association general manager Gay Pooler said the kiosks provide panhandlers with “a captive audience,” which she said is no different than ATMs and banks.
“To me, it should be classified similar to an ATM,” she told a quarterly meeting of various interests including city council, the head of the city's bylaws department and the RCMP.
“You’ve got your credit card out, you’re susceptible, you’re not going anywhere," Pooler said. "I’ve had complaints.”
Mayor Peter Milobar said the panhandling situation could be an issue at the kiosks.
“If you’re standing there with change, it’s hard to say you don’t have any change,” he said. “It’s hard to say you’re standing there jingling your keys in your pocket.”
John Ramsay, manager of bylaw services, told the meeting that his staff is trying to record incidents and come up with a plan.
Ramsay said bylaw services is also working on a pamphlet for downtown businesses and tourists to educate them about panhandling.
Ramsay said the department is hoping to identify problem panhandlers and take them to bylaws court, where a justice of the peace would issue no-go orders on areas where they’re known to ask for change.
Similar orders have recently been made regarding problem individuals at transit exchanges in the city, he said.
In Kamloops, panhandling is prohibited within 10 metres of an ATM or bank entrance, bus stop, liquor store, movie theatre or church.
Panhandling is also not allowed after dark or when someone is stopped at a traffic light or loading or unloading a vehicle. (Kamloops This Week)