Pin It

Shopping cart bylaw 

Chamber of Commerce: "waaaah!"

For Immediate Release

July 25, 2008, Halifax, NS – The Halifax Chamber of Commerce is frustrated to hear that the Halifax Regional Municipality will enforce a shopping cart bylaw that will penalize the victims of such offenses, businesses.

The Nuisance Bylaw covers all “nuisances” from cats to graffiti to shopping carts and will hold property owners and businesses responsible, physically and financially, for retrieval of stolen shopping carts. “Yes, no one wants to see shopping carts all over the neighbourhood, but creating additional bylaws with penalties for the victims is not the answer,” says Valerie Payn, President of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

The bylaw, which was first proposed to council in July of 2007, is intended to deal with the rising number of shopping carts that are found strewn about our neighbourhoods. While the Chamber understands that it is difficult to track down those responsible for removing the carts from the businesses in the first place, it is not the responsibility of the businesses, who have already taken measures such as introducing carts with locking wheels, to pay for their retrieval.

“It of course is difficult to catch someone once the cart has been abandoned, but just because we don’t have someone to blame doesn’t mean that we should add yet more regulation that penalizes the victim to correct the damage done,” says Payn, “In fact it makes much more sense to support business and property owners who naturally want to return their property to its original condition.”

“The last time I checked stealing someone’s property was a crime. Does anyone actually think that stores want people to steal their $300 shopping carts? How much can we expect property and business owners to spend on preventing this sort of crime?” added Payn.

Most people take steps to avoid getting their property stolen, and when it does get stolen, they take steps to retrieve it. Shopping centres evidently don't mind losing $300 pieces of property at a shot.

Adding... I've lived in other jurisdictions where there's a small cottage industry of people driving around, looking for abandoned/stolen shopping carts and bringing them back to the stores. In some cases, these people are freelancers, in other cases they're employed directly by the store. I assume that in all cases, however, similar bylaws are the motivating factor. The laws make sense.

(And yes, homeless people steal shopping carts, but that's a small part of the overall problem. And there are ways to either allow homeless people to use shopping carts or to replace them with a legal product. Either way, the use of shopping carts by the homeless is a red herring in this issue.)

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Pin It


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Tim Bousquet

Get more Halifax

Our Thursday email gets you caught up with The Coast. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.

Coast Top Ten

© 2021 Coast Publishing Ltd.