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SOC323H5 (91)


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Nicole Myers

SOC3223 – Ontario’s Safe Streets Act Midterm: formal writing, define your terms (including Latimer case AND Famous 5 – who were they and what did they do), avoid short terms and repetition, make sure sentences make sense, always assume reader has no idea what you’re talking about, more than just bullets on slides – expand & terms Provincial legislation – came into effect 1999; mostly talk about homelessness  squeegee kids - Is there protection for homeless people - Morality – how do we spend to those who are impoverished & how do we bring in legal work? Squeegee kids: punk style clothing, homeless, have not decreased in # but less visible, skate shoes, big baggy shorts, intense Mohawks, long hair or dreadlocks; physically intimidating, regarded as threatening Characteristics - Majority in Toronto age 16-25 - Information from 2 different studies prior to Act - Fairly young people population, most are male but females are not behind in terms of proportion: 60% male, 40% female - Fairly some are not from Toronto  more likely to find people of your own group who identify with you in a city than rural areas: 40% from outside Toronto area - Most are homeless o 34% no shelter o 24% squats  Squats: staying in abandoned building, tent community (living under highway pass) o 15% with friends/relatives  Friends/family  couch surfing o 24% rent  in a small room & share facilities (bathroom, kitchen) with others o 3% shelter  Small proportion in shelters  why?  Overcrowded  Fears of victimization (rob/stab while asleep, sexual abuse for females)  Rebellious/anarchy stereotype (government state run institutions)  Non-government ones: don’t need charity  Limited # of beds for access/use  Stigmas around being in a shelter;  Most require you to vacate during the day (only can stay at night & first come, first serve)  Often have a lot of rules (may only serve males, adults; against swearing; curfew; cannot come in intoxicated so cannot drink or do drugs)  find it restrictive - Summer of 1998, just prior to Act: 220 squeegee kids - 70% are heterosexual, 14.1% define themselves as bisexual, 4.6% as gay and 2.3% as lesbian and less than 1% as transgendered - Men - 56% -have grade 11 or less, 31% have grade 12 and 12% have university or college or technical school - Women, 60% have grade 11 or less, 33% have grade 12 and 6% have university, college or technical school - Population: not really educated; slight difference b/w male and females; close to half don’t have high school graduation & of those who went, dropped out; many with problems: dyslexia, ADHD, other learning disabilities How do they make money? - 36% of youth earn money by panhandling or squeegeeing o Wash your windshield for you and you would give them any of your loose change o At intersections, became familiar o Panhandling: sitting and asking for money - 19% do break and enters or sell drugs: criminal activity to support drug habit - 18% some sort of welfare  receive social assistance - 17% by have paid employment: working at a fast food restaurant, handing out newspapers, etc. - 10% do sex trade work Would they like to work? - Would they take on paid employment? Yes - 83.4% of males and 87.8% of females said yes - 53.7% would take any job if paid $20 an hour - 35.5% would do just about any job - 51.8% felt that any job was better than welfare - 18.7% would rather take welfare rather than a job they didn’t like - Half said having a job would be better than welfare BUT some said would rather have welfare than do a job they do not like - 18.% said they would not mind being unemployed for awhile o Some would only like to do a job time to time - Lack of unity in approach, but there is a desire of work – want to be compensated at a fairly high rate, not work somewhere/thing they hate, unemployment doesn’t mean end of the world What was preventing them from getting jobs? - No fixed address (45.2%) - Lack of work experience (43.3%) - No phone (44.5%) - There is something important about having a home – no address, shelters don’t allow you to use theirs; inability to contact; cannot have a SIN card w/o fixed address - Been on streets since of age 15; history physical/sexual abuse in families; removed from home and bouncing from foster homes; addiction issues; mental health; little experience - No money for transportation for job search (40.2%) - Don’t have the right clothes or appearance (34.7%) - Need somewhere to write your resume up; wear something else; money to take transit b/c further than you can walk - Legal problems, (21.3%) - A number have a criminal record - Lack of motivation (21.3%) - Issues around motivation to work – desire to go out and get a job - Their problems which included waking up and keeping a schedule, health, and literacy problems - Challenges around keeping a schedule; getting up in morning; basic literacy skills Victimization - 45.7% of street youth reported being attacked in the past year, as compared to 6.3% for their non-homeless peers - 52.8% reported being threatened with an attack - 42% had been sexually assaulted or threatened with sexual assault. - Almost half have been attacked where as general youth pop only 6% - Considerable amount of victimization - Not in lifetime, but last year - Worst victimization came at the hands of the police Oh Great - Squeegee Kids by Ritchie Annand - Stereotypes of squeegee kids; encounter with them; aggression Ontario’s Safe Streets Act An act to promote safety in Ontario by prohibiting aggressive solicitation of persons in certain places and disposal of dangerous things in certain places, and to amend the Highway Traffic Act to regulate certain activities on the roadways. - Public fear and hate of squeegee kids; response to this - Not a federal law - Came into force in 2001 - Conservative government under Mike Harris - Amendment to Highway Traffic Act: Criminal law is federal jurisdiction but province administers roadways, so can set up laws around it - Those in support of act  doesn’t target individuals but about public safety and safety of roadways in province Definition of ‘soliciting’ To request, in person, the immediate provision of money or another thing of value, regardless of whether consideration is offered or provided in return, using the spoke, written or printed word, a gesture or other means. - Encompasses variety of behaviours, direct contact, asking for money or anything of value (subway token, gift certificate) - Does not have to be implied or request but the act of asking; can be more than verbal  signs (written), cannot gesture with hand out Prohibitions – ‘aggressive manner’ “A manner that is likely to cause a reasonable person to be concern for his or her safety or security” 1. Threatening the person solicited with physical harm, by word, gesture or other means, during the solicitation or after the person solicited responds or fails to respond to the solicitation. 2. Obstructing the path of the person solicited during the solicitation or after the person solicited responds or fails to respond to the solicitation. 3. Using abusive language during the solicitation or after the person solicited responds or fails to respond to the solicitation. 4. Proceeding behind, alongside or ahead of the person solicited during the solicitation or after the person solicited responds or fails to respond to the solicitation. 5. Soliciting while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. 6. Continuing to solicit a person in a persistent manner after the person has responded negatively to the solicitation. - 6 different ways of aggressive solicitation; solicitation is not prohibited but aggressive is - Prohibitions: physical harm, threatening gestures, yelling out threats or insults, abusive language, blocking someone’s path (sitting on sidewalk) or following them, influence of drug or alcohol, asking more than once Prohibitions – ‘captive audience’ No person shall (a) Solicit a person who is using, waiting to use, or departing from an automated teller machine; (b) Solicit a person who is using or waiting to use a pay telephone or a public toilet facility; (c) Solicit a person who is waiting at a taxi stand or a public transit stop; (d) Solicit a person who is in or on a public transit vehicle; (e) solicit a person who is in the process of getting in, out of, on or off a vehicle or who is in a parking lot; or (f) While on a roadway, solicit a person who is in or on a stopped, standing or parked vehicle - Cannot ask anyone waiting to use, just used, or using a teller machine, payphones, bathrooms, public transit or taxi; cannot ask anyone in a vehicle, getting in or out, walking towards it, including in parking lots AND bikes; cannot solicit anyone stopped or in parked car on roadways - So where can a homeless person beg? Arrest without warrant 6. A police officer who believes on reasonable and probable grounds that a person has contravened section 2, 3 or 4 may arrest the person without warra
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