Pubdate: Thu, 15 Mar 2001
Source: Vancouver Courier (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 Vancouver Courier
Contact:  1574 W. 6th Ave, Vancouver BC V6J 1R2
Fax: (604) 731-1474
Author: C. Leduc


To the editor:

Re: "City may follow Winnipeg and repeal beggar bylaw," March 4.

Police Insp. Dave Jones is quoted as saying that "there may be some 
genuine hardship cases, but a lot of the money goes into their liver 
or arm" in reference to Vancouver's panhandlers.

Which is to say he does not consider drug addiction to be a form of 
hardship. Somewhat surprising coming from someone working so close to 
street people.

Outlawing panhandling may make a few addicts look harder for help, 
but many will turn to robbery and break-ins to support their habits, 
certainly not an improvement in terms of public safety.

I have never been "extorted" by a panhandler, and have given 
occasionally of my own volition, not to make myself feel good, as the 
inspector implies, but rather to make the person soliciting feel 

Whatever use he or she makes of that money is their own choice, and 
not for me to judge. If I have any doubts I can simply ignore them. 
For those who cannot sympathize with drug addicts may I suggest you 
try cutting out coffee/caffeine for just one month.

C. Leduc,
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MAP posted-by: Kirk Bauer