The Safe Streets Act is Ontario’s Anti-Panhandling Legislation, but it’s not doing it’s job.
1. Convictions for panhandling count against your driving record so the Act makes it harder for homeless people to find jobs, keeping them on the street longer.
2. The fines imposed for panhandling are almost never collected, but taxpayers are still paying for the courtroom, the Justice of the peace, the testifying police officer and the prosecutor to have the fines imposed.
3. When jail is imposed for panhandling people can lose the housing they do have and be forced back onto the street, actually increasing homelessness.
4. After 15 years the Act has failed to decrease panhandling or squeegeeing. More tickets are being given out every year.
This is a bad piece of legislation and it should be repealed.
But don’t take my word for it. The effects of the Act have been extensively studied. You can read more at http://www.homelesshub.ca