- August 3 2001, 13 squeegee workers had been convicted under the Ontario Safe Street Act, in which
lawyers argued that the act was in itself a vagrancy law posed in the nineteenth century, used to punish
and imprison the poor. This questioned the public safety and security.
The act can be thought of as an aggressive example of anti-homeless and panhandling that became
popular in the US and Canada. Few Canadian municipalities had passed anti-begging and anti-loitering
laws, in which activist argued that it discriminated the poor and infringed on their rights.
After a five year battle with National Anti-Poverty Organization, Winnipeg agreed to prohibit begging in
a particular city location. The city confirmed that begging in itself was not a hard but a recognized full
entitlement of the poor to use public space. In the settlement: entitlement of poor people to be present,
visible and participating in public spaces and freedom of expression and equality are fundamental rights.
On January 31, 2000 the safe street act became effective. It list very detailed, yet very vague ideas of what
is prohibited or not. For example, no person shall solicit a person while at a bus stop, departing from an
automated teller machine, waiting for a taxi or waiting to use a pay phone. The definition of soliciting:
request in person, the immediate provision of money or another thing of value, regardless of whether
consideration is offered or provided in return, using spoken, written