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'Threatening behaviour' to be targeted by proposed Kamloops bylaw

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July 28, 2016 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - A bylaw being considered by the City of Kamloops would target uncivil behaviour but won't go as far as to restrict conversational swearing.

Community safety director David Duckworth says the proposed public nuisance bylaw would target disruptive public behaviour.

“It’s for anyone who’s causing a public nuisance that’s disruptive to the public,” he says. “It could include offensive profane language.”

Duckworth says it’s not for the type of swearing one might overhear in the public.

“It’s not like your walking down the street and you say a swear word and you get a ticket,” he says. “It’s not a swearing bylaw, it’s not a language bylaw.”

It also won’t affect protests, he says.

The bylaw aims to ensure the general public feels safe enjoying public spaces and target threatening behaviour that might not be criminal, Duckworth says.

“We’re looking at tools that would allow us to minimize or mitigate those (types of behaviour),” he says. “We don’t really have that right now.”

The issue has made recent progress after multiple complaints came up this year about the type of behaviour the bylaw would target.

Nanaimo’s nuisance bylaw is an example of what is being considered in Kamloops, Duckworth says, though many municipalities in B.C. have something on the books to deal with disruptive behaviour. The Nainmo bylaw passed in 2003 "to give the RCMP and the city’s Bylaw Enforcement Officers the ability to ticket individuals for acting in an uncivil manner," according to Nanaimo council minutes.

In Nanaimo the bylaw includes offences like: fight participation, obstructing a person and disturbing the “peace, quiet and enjoyment of the community.” Each offence carries a $150 fine.

Duckworth wants something in front of council by the fall.

This isn't the first time a nuisance bylaw has been considered in Kamloops. A citizen presentation to council in May 2014 suggested the city look at the Nanaimo nuisance bylaw and consider something similar.

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