SUPPOSE YOU’RE AT THE BANK MACHINE and there’s a panhandler sitting or standing there and he asks you for some spare change.
Now suppose a bylaws or police officer approaches this same panhandler, who’s parked back at his spot beside the ATM. With no bylaw restricting panhandling, the conversation might go something like this:
“I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to move along, sir. You’re making people uncomfortable.”
“What if I don’t?”
“Well, nothing. I’m just asking.”
“OK then. I think I’ll stay right here. Have a nice day.”
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.