City proposes strengthened harassment definitions in Public Places Bylaw
The City of Edmonton is recommending changes to the Public Places Bylaw to strengthen the definition of what constitutes harassment.
In April, City Council directed administration to work with the Anti-Racism Advisory Committee to review and recommend amendments to the anti-bullying sections in the City’s Public Places bylaw to include harassment based on race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Administration consulted with several of City Council’s advisory committees, including the Anti-Racism Advisory Committee, to help shape the changes in the proposed draft. This review recommends changes that will provide greater clarity and create a safer environment for all Edmontonians.
The proposed changes go to the Community and Public Services Committee on August 11 for discussion and, at the committee’s direction, to City Council on August 16 to begin three readings of the bylaw amendment.
Fines under the bylaw will remain at $250 for a first offence, but double for subsequent offences. City Council can choose to increase the fine at a later date.
Council also asked Administration to look at using restorative justice practices in response to offences under this bylaw. Administration is asking Council for additional time to thoroughly explore this approach as it continues work to enhance community safety, well-being, inclusion and anti-racism in Edmonton.