Press Release: BCCLA reacts to Vernon City Council Plan to Regulate Shopping Carts

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For Immediate Release

The BCCLA reacted this morning to Vernon City Council’s plan to implement a new bylaw that will ban shopping carts on public lands in the municipality.  On July 23, 2018 Vernon City Council voted to support and expand the recommendation of the Activate Safety Task Force to ban shopping carts.  The city’s press release of July 27, 2018, indicates that “direction in regard to shopping carts will be brought back to Council within the next month for consideration and endorsement.”

Staff Counsel Meghan McDermott sent a letter this morning to Mayor Mund and city councillors, urging them to abandon the proposal due to its flagrant targeting of Vernon’s homeless residents.

“It is senseless and cruel to deprive people of access to public spaces simply because they are using a shopping cart,” said Meghan McDermott.  “We know that Vernon shelters are at capacity, so such a measure will impair peoples’ ability to make a temporary shelter when their only option is to sleep outdoors. For many people without a home, the use of a shopping cart provides a means to carry supplies to set up a crude form of temporary shelter.”

The letter points out that the various rationales that have been provided for the new bylaw are not sufficient to justify the infringements of people’s rights to liberty and security of the person as enshrined in section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The BCCLA’s letter can be found here.

WHAT: Vernon City Council Plans to Regulate Shopping Carts

WHEN: Thursday, August 23, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan McDermott, BCCLA Staff Counsel, at [email protected] and 778-783-3011