It was an attempt to increase the quality of busking, but what about the quality of panhandling?
THE ‘STREET PERFORMANCE’ issue appears to finally be put to rest and thankfully so. It was a classic case of a solution looking for a problem.
City council this week put a stop to it, cutting short an effort by staff to develop a bylaw around licensing buskers. Though Mayor Ken Christian insisted licensing wasn’t the real point, that’s what it came down to.
Sure, it may have upped the quality of busking on Kamloops streets (or not) but it was the perception of the City doing battle with panhandlers who offer a few guitar chords or whatever as an incentive to passersby that just didn’t seem right.
The idea came up at a meeting of the mayor’s new community services committee on April 8 with a staff proposal to “regulate performers based on qualifications.”
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.