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Friday, September 5, 2008

Shinerama v squeegeers

Posted By on Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 1:53 PM

This week the Dal Student Union is running its annual Shinerama campaign, a fund-raiser to raise money for research into Cystic Fibrosis. Near as I can tell (the Dal students seem disinclined to respond to my email query), this campaign consists mostly of jumping out into traffic along Spring Garden Road and hitting motorists up for donations.

Which raises a question: Remember the squeegee kids?

Why, people were so worked up over the squeegee kids that our ever-responsive provincial government passed a law against them, the notorious Bill 7, containing Clause 13, as follows:

13 Chapter 293 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 173 the following Section:

173A (1) No person, while on a roadway, shall stop, attempt to stop or approach a motor vehicle for the purpose of offering, selling or providing any commodity or service to or soliciting the driver or any other person in the motor vehicle.(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the offer, sale or provision of towing or repair services or any other commodity or service in an emergency.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to fund-raising activities that are

(a) permitted by a by-law of the municipality in which the activities are conducted; and

(b) approved by the traffic authority responsible for the roadway on which the activities are conducted.

I just got off the phone with Jeff Carr, who speaks for the Halifax Police Department, and he confirms that the Dal Student Union did not get a permit for Shinerama. Carr was under the impression that the students were merely asking for money along the sidewalks; when I told him that the students were actually running out into traffic to collect money he said, "oh, they shouldn't have been, if they were."

Just pointing out how bylaws are not enforced evenly across the board, but are rather instruments of social control, used discriminately.

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