As the cost of living has risen, so, too, have panhandling incidents in suburban cities.
Back in June of this year, Burlington city council passed a number of recommendations that were brought forward at a previous planning and development committee meeting.
The recommendations were brought forward on June 11 and passed on June 18, 2019.
One of the many recommendations that were passed pertains to options for addressing panhandling in the city.
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On May 31, 2019, Councillor Rory Nisan proposed the following staff direction.
“Direct the Director of City Building to report back to Planning and Development Committee on July 9, 2019, with a report that provides information on best practices to manage panhandling in other municipalities and provide additional options, including communication methods, to assist the City of Burlington in addressing panhandling,” reads the memo.
However, on June 18, the following motion was carried at committee and ratified by council.
“Direct the Director of City Building to report back to the Planning and Development Committee meeting of September 10, 2019, with additional options, including communication methods, to assist the City of Burlington in addressing panhandling,” reads the motion.
So, although there won’t be any options regarding how to handle panhandling in Burlington brought forward until September, it is safe to say that the city is taking steps to combat the issue.
And, in a recent blog post, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward outlined a few issues surrounding the matter, and seems to want a compassionate approach when it comes to how panhandling should be addressed in the city.
“The first is how to direct the community to donate to charities that are better equipped to assist individuals who may take to panhandling,” Meed Ward said. “My concern, as a separate issue, is panhandling at intersections — I would never want to ban panhandling and take the opportunity from someone to ask for money somewhere safer. I would like to see options from other municipalities with respect to placing signs and looking at options for positive communications related to panhandling.”
How do you think panhandling should be addressed in Burlington?