Canadian City Bans News Boxes in Downtown Core

october 22, 2007  09:13 am
New Westminster, which sits about 12 miles from Vancouver in British Columbia, has approved the ban as part of a series of measures to address "livability and enforcement issues" in the city, the Georgia Straight reports. The ordinance, set to take effect Jan. 1, would affect more than 20 of the Straight's boxes. It's "very likely" that the city has violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, says Vancouver media lawyer David F. Sutherland: "There is a constitutional right, not only in the newspaper to distribute by traditional means in public space, but also on the part of readers to receive it in that way." Still, the news box ban isn't quite as draconian as an earlier restriction New Westminster had on the alt-weekly: In 1968, the city banned the Straight across the entire municipality.