Catch-22

Calgary Herald

 

Published: Saturday, April 19, 2008

Re: "Nothing civilized about bylaw that targets homeless," Paula Arab, Opinion, April 17.

 

Congratulations to Paula Arab for speaking clearly about the City of Calgary's public behaviour bylaw. Ultimately, it doesn't matter whether those who approved the bylaw had it in mind to target the homeless or not. Anyone with a moderate amount of intelligence could, and should have figured out that it would be the homeless who would be victimized by the enforcers, in this case most notably the police.

 

Those who want to clean the downtown might benefit from reading the 2006 Environmental Scan by the K Division of the RCMP, and one of its conclusions that, "the lack of income, particularly in contrast with close neighbours or groups who have greater income, contributes to feelings of shame, embarrassment, self-loathing, and lack of self-respect. These observations suggest that one of the most frequent triggers to violence is a real or imagined sense of disrespect, loss of face, loss of status and the belief that people are looking down upon one." In effect, the public behaviour bylaw contributes to what it pretends to solve.

 

Jake Kuiken, Calgary

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