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SOC323H5 (22)

Disorderly people-Hermer and Mosher.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Nicole Myers

Disorderly people: law and the politics of exclusion in Ontario Hermer and Mosher Introduction  August 3, 2001- 13 people (squeegee workers) arrested in Toronto under Ontario Safe Streets Acth  Lawyers of defendants argue that Act is unconstitutional, providing police with powers similar to 19 century vagrancy laws that punished and imprisoned the poor o Opposing view: Act is a legitimate response to public safety and security  Last 10 years, many Canadian municipalities such as Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver have passed anti-begging and anti-loitering legislations (Winnipeg later repealed its law and allowed begging only in certain areas) o Anti-begging laws discriminate against the poor people and infringe their right of expression o Begging itself poses no harm to others and the poor have full entitlement to use public space o **Winnipeg recognized that the poor are entitled to be visible and participating in public spaces and that freedom of expression and equality are fundamental rights guaranteed under the Charter  Safe Streets Act represents first time modern provincial government has enacted provincial statute against begging conduct in public space  two main anti-begging sections under the Act prohibit soliciting in an „aggressive manner‟ and soliciting to captive audience  making request by any means questions whether a visibly indigent person would be considered to be soliciting simply by being present in the wide array of spaced circumscribed by this section o homeless people have no choice but to hang around in public spaces  the notion of a captive audience works to construct public as vulnerable victims, that are held hostage in public by beggars  status offences target people on grounds that are suspicious; in relation to vagrancy laws, policing on grounds of suspicion is a recipe for discrimination  subsection 3(2)(d) of Safe Streets Act prohibits “while on a road, a soliciting of a person who is, in
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