First of all, we are happy to announce that Bills 67 and 68 did NOT get passed by Council tonight – thank you to everyone who took the time to get your voices heard! These bills have been referred back to staff, and hopefully there will be a more informed, researched discussion, plus consultation with all stakeholders.
It was incorrectly stated a number of times in Council tonight that the current Bylaws were the rules that prevented the handing out of food or water on City property. That is not the case, and we would hate to see anyone withholding their generosity out of fear of legal repercussions.
It is not, and never was, illegal to give out food, water, clothing, etc.
We will give an analysis of the total changes defeated, but the one we suspect is of most interest is the section of the City's "nuisance" bylaw, regarding giving out food, water, etc.
The EXISTING Bylaw states:
"No person shall give away or otherwise provide at no charge, items, products, samples of items or products, or any other similar item to members of the public from any City property, unless authorized by the City."
However, it specifically DOES allow organizations or individuals to give away or otherwise provide the necessities of life:
"Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, any federally, provincially or municipally funded organization or any registered charitable organization or any individual that is giving away or otherwise providing food, water, clothing or medical attention, at no charge to members of the public shall not be deemed to be in contravention of this section."
So any and all statements that the existing bylaw already forbids anyone from giving out food or water is false. Please do NOT be concerned about going against the law by offering material assistance to anyone on City property.
Defeated Bills and the Bylaws they would have amended
Bill 67 would have amended current Bylaw 2019-059, which is the Parks Use Bylaw
The current – and still-standing – bylaw is available on the City's webpage at https://www.barrie.ca/sites/default/files/2022-07/By-law_Parks-Use.pdf