ROTHENBURGER: Busking bylaw was a solution looking for a problem

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

About Mel Rothenburger (7785 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on ROTHENBURGER: Busking bylaw was a solution looking for a problem

  1. The vote was four to five, so while council as a whole rejected the idea it is disturbing, in my opinion, about half of council thought it to be a good idea. But more disturbing is the fact the proposal was made in the first place. That is telling of where the “heart” lays with certain people running our city.

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