Spit decision: Lethbridge city council considers ban on spitting in public places

Members of Lethbridge city council are debating a new bylaw would ban a number of anti-social behaviors like spitting, public urination, littering and panhandling.

“The intent of this bylaw is to not persecute individuals, but to rather to clearly define expected behavior and educate the public as to community standards,” said Coun. Jenn Schmidt-Rempel during a Tuesday council meeting.

The bylaw is a recommendation of the Community Safety Standing Policy Committee and was brought forward by Regulatory Services in an effort to undesirable behaviour.

The proposed penalty of $300 could be handed out to those caught breaking the law, something the Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ) says it is in favor of.

“Essentially what it does is give lawmakers a few more teeth in respect to some negative behaviors that have been talked about in the downtown area,” said spokesperson Sarah Amies.

According to a council reportthe ban would penalize spitting “on another person or the external surface of any building, structure or other personal property in a public place.”

Lethbridge wouldn’t be the only city to ban such actions – Calgary, Vancouver and Taber all have similar bylaws in place.

The bylaw still has to go through a second and third reading before being implemented in the city.

Amies says they feel the bylaw would make the city a more enjoyable place for everyone.

“It’s basically for safety for all folks who are enjoying the public places.”

The city expects the bylaw will be on council’s agenda for a second reading on May 10. If passed, it could take effect on July 1.

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