Calgarians don’t want to behave

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 at 9:13 | Posted in Canada, Legal | 2 Comments

Calgary’s City Council passed a public behavior bylaw yesterday. The bylaw stipulates fines between 50 and 300 Canadian dollars for among other things spitting, fighting, carrying a sheath knife, urinating or defenatining in public or putting one’s feet up on public property.

Dozens of citizens were protesting outside the City Hall during the coucil meeting. CBC news reports:

Calgary high school student Blaine Kingcott told CBC News the bylaw should be scrapped because it violates everyone’s rights.

I do not know about that. The outlawed activities sound like something that a well behaving citizen would normally not be doing. Maybe high school students have a different understanding about what is decent behavior and what one should have a right to do.

On a more serious note, though, it has been pointed out that the homeless often have no choice but to use the public space as a bathroom. It would no doubt be discriminating to impose them fines for doing what a person has to do.



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  1. hi
    How would you feel if you where a poor, hungry homeless person because of whatever reasons your government has conditioned you to and you don’t have a home because your city hasn’t created affordable housing. So you are forced to live on the streets and now the government that put you there has created yet another law that is not going to help you but fine you for it.

    PS. next time im going to think harder on what to say to a reporter that asks me what i think of the bylaw

  2. Blaine, I think I made it clear that I agree that the byelaw may be discriminatory against the homeless who have little or no choice. Your statement may also have been quoted out of its intended context by the CBC. As it was presented by them, it sounded a bit like you would be promoting things like public urinating as such.
    You and me have the choice of performing our basic bodily functions in private. It would be essential that cities provided facilities for the same purpose for the homeless as well. Only then could it be justified to discuss fines.

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