Squeegee-kid ban upheld (Toronto Star) and
Court of Appeal upholds 'anti-squeegee' law (National Post)
The Mike Harris Conservative government introduced The Ontario-wide legislation in 1999, after hearing several complaints from drivers about the squeegee-kids. According to the Ontario Court of Appeal, 'regulation pedestrians and traffic and reducing dangers on the streets' is more important than having a homeless (squeegee-kid) earn money by cleaning your car's window. After banning the squeegee-kids, the court had dismissed 11 homeless men who were convicted of provincial offences in 2001 for either cleaning windshields or asking drivers for money. Arguments arose on whether or not the court had made the right decision. The offender had mentioned that the Safe Streets Act and Highway Traffic Act, ban any being from interacting with a stopped vehicle. But according to executive director of Justice for Children and Youth, Martha Mackinnon, this law is not applied to everyone.
The offenders say by having the homeless clean your windshields, it interferes with their freedom of rights, expression and security; according to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; however Justice Russell Juiansz disagrees. He mentions, no where under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does it prevent the “poor” from begging. Peter Rosenthal, the Lawyer of the appellants was devastated with the decision and would like to take this case in the hands of the Supreme Court of Canada. He had stated, “ Perhaps I didn't explain it properly to the Court of Appeal, But the people we're talking about are people so poor they have to beg...” Unfortunately, under the Charter, protection is only for those targeted by their race, sex, ethnic origin or age are protected.
I believe it's not right to get punished for trying to put food on the table; it's even more wrong to punish someone who has no shelter, job or family. I believe many people may have issues with the fact...
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