Panhandling a problem in Terrace, B.C.

Stricter laws needed to cope, says letter to the editor writer

An open letter to:

The City of Terrace council and city residents.

Dear Councillors:

Please do some thing about the panhandling in Terrace.

It is a darn embarassment to the city of Terrace and for any tourists to visit downtown Terrace.

We the residents and tourists are constantly affronted by people asking for change to buy coffee or bumming cigarettes.

Asking for spare change next to a beer store – for coffee? Yeah right, do the math.

I don’t know if there is a city-by-law about panhandling in Terrace. If there is it is definitely not being enforced. If there is no such by law one needs to be made.

We have new city councillors elected every four years. Let’s see this city council step up to the plate and do something about this embarrassing problem.

The biggest problem I know of for pan handling is around the Safeway, Brolly Square, and the cold beer store right acorss the street.

Everyone in town knows it’s a problem. How many people have had verbal and physical confrontations with such encounters of such individuals begging for beer money?

I myself am a frequent visiter to the cold beer store on Lakelse Ave. Pretty well every time I go there or am close by I am harassed for change.

When I say ‘no’, (and I always so ‘no’) I am called a redneck or white trash.

I have physical confrontations with these individuals. I do not want to go to jail or get a criminal record for assault for defending myself for just saying a simple ‘no’.

I have to work to buy my beer and cigarettes. I don’t stand on street corners asking people to support me. I don’t like being verbally or physically assaulted when I say ‘no’.

I see a police presence in the area often but the offenders don’t learn their lessons, apparently.

I don’t know about local bylaws or provincial bylaws on this matter, so I would appreciate someone in power, locally or provincially, to look into this matter.

I understand the RCMP can only do so much, so maybe a stricter by law for panhandling is required.

Another issue – it has been published in The Terrace Standand over the last couple of years that pedestrians are being hit by drivers.

Yes, you guessed it. It’s the drunks walking out in traffic. I recall one woman saying she has been hit twice. Well I wonder why? I have heard in this town people deliberately step out in traffic to get hurt and get insurance money to buy more booze.

I have seen first hand these drunks and panhandlers being arrested by the RCMP. Good job to them as I have seen the crap the Mounties go through and still get accused of wrongdoing.

Stop breaking the law if you don’t want to be arrested. Make some panhanding laws with some teeth.

Town council, do something. I want to buy a load of bread and two liters of milk at Safeway with out being asked for spare change

Eric Nielsen, Terrace, B.C.