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The Safe Streets Act Essay

1258 words - 5 pages

Many people don't know what the safe streets act is, and they probably don't care because it doesn't affect their lives. But that's where they are wrong. The act is affecting everyone whether they realize it or not. So what happened to freedom of expression, the right to life and liberty, and security of the person? The safe streets act, that's what happened. What was meant to solve the problem of street safety only introduced more problems, and negatively affected many people. The safe streets act, a social cleansing bill, passed by the Harris Tories, should not be implemented as a law, because it is too vague and discriminatory. Firstly the act harasses homeless people simply because of their economic status. Furthermore this law gives the police another tool to harass and arrest homeless people, panhandlers and squeegee workers. Lastly, not only does it affect the homeless people, but it also affects the rest of society.The safe streets act should not be considered a solution. In fact what the act is really doing is discriminating against the homeless people that are stuck in poverty. The Act criminalizes behavior that is the result of poverty, homelessness and even mental health issues, thus unfairly targeting vulnerable groups. Preventing an individual from trying to survive is frowned upon, but yet something similar is passed as a law. This act is meant to target the homeless; it violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by limiting people's freedom of expression. An interesting factor to point out is that it is illegal for a homeless to panhandle on the streets, but not illegal if it's a registered organization that's panhandling. This just further proves that the safe streets act is discriminatory. Being homeless and struggling from poverty is bad enough as it is, they don't need authority breathing down their necks. These people should have the right to express themselves, without the fear of breaking the law. What's worse is that most of these individuals are trying to get out of poverty, but by implementing the safe streets act, it gives these people another obstacle to overcome. This factor will be mentioned thoroughly further into the essay. Once they get out of jail, they may leave with something they never had, criminal recorded, furthermore digging a deeper hole to get out of. With this act it will be even harder for the homeless to get back on their feet and get a decent job. One might ask themselves is this act really supposed to help society?By implementing the safe streets act it gives the police another tool to harass and arrest homeless people, panhandlers, and squeegee workers. The people on the streets are only trying to get through life from day to day, but when this only way is taken from them its oblivious that the people that are affected the most will take drastic measures and maybe even resort to violence. In a way the safe streets act causes a dominos effect. The government's belief that the safe streets act will...

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