A Vernon councillor has changed his mind about a proposed shopping cart ban in public places.
Brian Quiring voted, at the July 23 council meeting, to support a recommendation from the city’s Activate Safety Task Force — which he sat on — to ban carts in public places.
“Since then, I have received a great deal of correspondence from citizens and have given a lot of thought to my decision,” said Quiring, announcing his reversal Thursday afternoon.
Quiring said, upon reflection, the proposal for a city-wide ban on shopping carts in public places will not lead to desirable solutions.
“I believe banning shopping carts will only serve to further deteriorate the situation of the street-entrenched population and possibly push them to desperation,” said Quiring. “This is the opposite of what we want to accomplish as a healthy community.”
Quiring said he’s committed to working to find other solutions that will instead “elevate and provide hope for the street-entrenched population.”
“Namely, I will focus on housing, and supports for addiction and mental health issues,” said Quiring, who said his job as a councillor is to make decisions, something he does regularly.
“Sometimes, I make mistakes and I have the ability to recognize that and to change,” he said. “I look forward to holding constructive discussions with the mayor and my fellow councillors.”
The topic is expected to come up for discussion at the next council meeting Sept. 4.
Also on Thursday, Vernon council received a letter from the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, asking council to change its decision.
The BCCLA called the proposal a “flagrant targeting of Vernon’s homeless residents.”