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Court hears challenge of Ontario law banning 'aggressive' panhandling

An Ontario court is set to hear a constitutional challenge to a panhandling law that advocates say is grossly disproportionate and infringes the rights of some of the most vulnerable members of society.

Published Feb 6, 2024 at 3:54pm

The Canadian Press
By
The Canadian Press
Court hears challenge of Ontario law banning 'aggressive' panhandling
The Ontario Superior Court in Toronto is photographed on Monday, May 2, 2022. An Ontario court is set to hear a constitutional challenge to a panhandling law that advocates say is grossly disproportionate and infringes the rights of some of the most vulnerable members of society. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

An Ontario court is set to hear a constitutional challenge to a panhandling law that advocates say is grossly disproportionate and infringes the rights of some of the most vulnerable members of society.

The challenge, being heard this week in Ontario Superior Court, was launched in 2017 by the Fair Change legal clinic against the Safe Streets Act, in force since 2000. The law prohibits soliciting in an aggressive manner and soliciting a "captive audience," including people waiting to use an ATM or public transit.

Violations of the law come with a maximum fine of $500 for the first offence and a maximum fine of $1,000 or imprisonment for up to six months for subsequent offences.

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