MyHalifaxCa – Panhandlers

Its time to deal with the problem

Purpose & Scope

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This is NOT the definitive study of the panhandling problem in Halifax complete with a guaranteed solution. I am good but not that good. The true purpose is to provide a background opinion paper as a starting point for discussions within the business, governmental and NGO groups in Halifax with the aim of finding a coordinated approach to the problem

Typically, this issue would be researched and analyzed with a quantitative and qualitative matrix that would then be sanitized and presented in a fashion that only a sociologist or economist would appreciate. I could have followed that model but I did not.

This is a community issue that requires the depth of long term observation, a comprehensive understanding of the background components that make up the problem, the compassion to accept that ‘there but for the grace of god….’ and enough social conscience to want to help make our city a better and safer place for all its inhabitants.

I have lived in Halifax for 40 of my 54 years spending much of that time in the downtown. Most of my clients are within the Downtown Business District; I work, relax, entertain, socialize and volunteer within that area using Metro Transit regularly as well as walking more or less the whole area on a daily basis. The following is for the most part a compilation of 100s of conversations with friends, family, clients and the stakeholders of this issue, each contributing to my position that its time that Halifax deals with the panhandling on its streets before its too late.

With in the following pages you will find:

· A definition of panhandling and of aggressive panhandling

· A summary of the background components which contribute to panhandling

· A quantitative overview of the ‘big picture’ of panhandling in Halifax & the changes caused by the recent change to the Motor Vehicle Act of Nova Scotia

· An overview of the legislation in place in other [Canadian] jurisdictions aimed at reducing Panhandling and their relative effectiveness.

· Some thoughts on the ‘Rights of the Panhandler’

· Identifying several relative stakeholders / service providers who should be involved in any discussions / solution

· Some suggestions as to what should be the next action step

The Area

This report deals with the area of Central Halifax that most people consider‘Downtown Halifax’ including three business commission districts; clip_image002

Downtown Halifax Business Commission,


Spring Garden Area Merchants Association

As well the lands within the

Halifax Waterfront Development Commission


Written by lesmuise

October 27, 2008 at 10:26 pm

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