Kelowna bottle picker bylaw shelved; busking bylaw to be reviewed | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna bottle picker bylaw shelved; busking bylaw to be reviewed

Columbia Bottle Depots on Kirschner Road in Kelowna, April 25, 2018.

KELOWNA - A bylaw that would have penalized people who give empties to the homeless has been shelved after consultation with the Journey Home task force.

Director of protective services Rob Mayne told council his recommendation to pull back from the proposed bylaw was based on conversations with people who had previously been homeless.

“The best action is to assist those individuals in getting housing rather than seek compliance,” Mayne told councillors.

The proposed bylaw would have made it an offence to hand empties to anyone within 500 metres of a bottle depot.

Bylaw officers have been trying for nearly two years to clean up Kirschner Road where homeless bottle pickers have been gathering, bringing their empties to the nearby Columbia Bottle Depots location.

While there have been hundreds of complaints from area businesses about such things as open drug use and intoxication, Mayne said attempts to work with Columbia to mitigate the situation have proven fruitless, although the company has been fully cooperative.

The bottle depot has been refused a lease renewal and will be vacating the Kirschner Road location at the end of September.

Local businessman Clare Cassan, owner of Columbia, has said he plans to relocate the business. Mayne said company has not asked the city for help in relocating the depot.

A bylaw aimed at controlling buskers was also shelved until further consultation with local musicians and buskers. Both bylaws were supposed to be included in the omnibus Good Neighbour bylaw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2018

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