MPP Cheri DiNovo welcomes Charter challenge against Ontario’s Safe Streets Act

QUEEN’S PARK —Cheri DiNovo, NDP MPP for Parkdale – High Park welcomed the announcement that a Charter challenge has been issued against Ontario’s pan-handling legislation.

The legal challenge was filed by Fair Change Community Legal Clinic and is supported by several high profile organizations including the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

“The government knows the legislation is discriminatory and wasteful,” said DiNovo. “Instead of fighting the challenge in the courts, the government needs to repeal the Act now.”

“Thousands of vulnerable people have suffered from the Liberal government’s inaction, and it has directly contributed to an increase in homelessness. We need to end the persecution of the poor,” DiNovo added.

According to the Fair Change Clinic, one per cent of all tickets are issued under the Safe Streets Act. It costs the Ontario government two million dollars a year just to process the court documents; there are additional costs associated with policing, jailing, and collecting fines, which is rarely successful.

The Safe Streets Act was introduced by the Harris Conservative government and has been maintained by successive Liberal governments.

DiNovo has twice tabled a Private Member’s Bill to repeal the Safe Streets Act, most recently in October 2016, and previously in April 2015.