Barrie City Initiates Controversial Measure to Curb Panhandling

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In a determined effort to tacitly discourage panhandling, the City of Barrie has initiated the process of posting signs saying, ‘Say NO to panhandling – There are better ways to make a difference’. This novel, yet contentious initiative was approved by the city councilmen as a part of their larger effort to remediate the escalating local homelessness crisis.

The idea behind such directives was to encourage philanthropists to offer stern support towards different service providers who are actively assisting the city’s homeless citizenry.

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Intriguingly, the public had observed a link to CanadaHelps.org inscribed at the bottom of these signs. Designed to acquaint the public with various charitable institutions, CanadaHelps.org had unhappily discovered its unsolicited affiliation with the campaign through an organization’s social media post.

The unforeseen association led CanadaHelps to decline any partnership with the campaign. “Our name and URL inclusion on the City of Barrie’s signage was unsolicited. CanadaHelps holds respect for all modes of assistance for vulnerable people, and we have formally requested our exclusion from this signage,” the message read.

The City of Barrie acknowledged the misstep and promised to remove the mention of CanadaHelps from the signs. They stated that their initial intent was to make it easier for donations to reach local service agencies assisting those in need.

This unique bylaw, approved earlier this year, got the city onto the national radar. It not only endorsed signs discouraging panhandling but also aimed to stop the distribution of essential goods like food to the homeless on city property. However, following public animosity, this change was suspended.

The exact date for the removal of the website reference from the signs remains undisclosed.

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