Can Partnerships, Not Legalities, Solve Kamloops’ Social Discord Problems?

birds' eye view of downtown Kamloops in shadow with sun lighting the mountains in the background
kamloops is pretty sometimes photo by David Wise is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Central Kamloops

Social discord between businesses, neighbours, social service agencies and their customers seems to be an inevitable feature of modern urban life.

Chronic nuisance, perceived or actual, is often the target of hopeful legal remedies like panhandling fines or littering regulations. These legal remedies may discourage. Often enough, they are more problematic than useful. The fines work against efforts to help people leave the streets and move into housing.

The City of Kamloops, British Columbia, is currently attempting a somewhat different approach: good neighbour agreements. Conceived by a city planning committee concerned with vulnerable residents, the agreements are not presented as legal commitments but more informal partnership relationships.

Testing has proved encouraging, and so the City is pursuing the project on a broader scale.

Agreements have been tried in other communities, often proscribing the behaviour of the tenants and their landlords. These ones are unusual because all stakeholders, including local businesses and social services, have responsibilities. What do the agreements cover, and how do they spell it out? Read more in KAMLOOPS THIS WEEK: Good neighbour agreements eyed for social agencies and City of Kamloops