Downtown Salmon Arm staff were invited to participate in a Social Impact Advisory Committee meeting because of our concerns regarding the visible increase in homelessness and panhandling within the downtown core. The Committee has representatives from the City of Salmon Arm – Councillor and Staff, SAFE Society, Canadian Mental Health Association, Shuswap Association for Community Living, Shuswap Children’s Association, Family Resource Centre, Shuswap Immigrant Services Society, RCMP and the Salvation Army Lighthouse Shelter.

This Committee shares information and resources and is working towards a community-adopted plan to tackle this complex social issue.

CMHA has created a Shuswap Survival Guide – a listing of services available in our community. Please keep this guide available in the event someone you come across needs social services. is another trusted resource on mental health and substance abuse.

The City of Salmon Arm adopted a Street Solicitation Bylaw #4273.



Panhandling is regulated in the City of Salmon Arm. Aggressive panhandling is not tolerated under the City of Salmon Arm’s bylaws as well as under the BC Safe Streets Act. We encourage you to call Bylaw Services, 250-803-4000, if there is a panhandling issue.


1: In this Act, “solicit” means to communicate, in person, using the spoken, written or printed word, a gesture or another means, for the purpose of receiving money or another thing of value, regardless of whether consideration is offered or provided in return.

Solicitation in aggressive manner prohibited

2: (1) A person commits an offence if the person solicits in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to be concerned for the solicited person’s safety or security, including threatening the person solicited with physical harm, by word, gesture or other means.

(2) A person commits an offence if the person engages, in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to be concerned for the solicited person’s safety or security, in one or more of the following activities during a solicitation or after the solicited person responds or fails to respond to the solicitation:
(a) obstructing the path of the solicited person;
(b) using abusive language;
(c) proceeding behind or alongside or ahead of the solicited person;
(d) physically approaching, as a member of a group of 2 or more persons, the solicited person;
(e) continuing to solicit the person.

Solicitation of captive audience prohibited

3:  (1) In this section:

“commercial passenger vehicle” means a motor vehicle operated on a roadway by or on behalf of a person who charges or collects compensation for the transportation of passengers in that motor vehicle, and includes a vehicle operated by or on behalf of the British Columbia Transit Authority or the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority to provide a regularly scheduled public passenger transportation service;

“roadway” means a highway, road, street, lane or right of way, including the shoulder of any of them, that is improved, designed or ordinarily used by the general public for the passage of vehicles;

“vehicle” includes non-motorized vehicles.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), a person commits an offence who does any of the following:
(a) solicits a person who is using, waiting to use, or departing from a device commonly referred to as an automated teller machine;
(b) solicits a person who is using, or waiting to use, a pay telephone or a public toilet facility;
(c) solicits a person who is waiting at a place that is marked, by use of a sign or otherwise, as a place where a commercial passenger vehicle regularly stops to pick up or disembark passengers;
(d) solicits a person who is in, on or disembarking from a commercial passenger vehicle;
(e) solicits a person who is in the process of getting in, out of, on or off of a vehicle or who is in a parking lot.
(3) No offence is committed under subsection (2) if the person soliciting is 5 metres or more from the following:
(a) in the case of subsection (2) (a) to (c), the automated teller machine, pay telephone, public toilet facility entrance or commercial passenger vehicle marker, as applicable;
(b) in the case of subsection (2) (d) or (e), the commercial passenger vehicle or vehicle, as applicable.
(4) No offence is committed under subsection (2) (a) if the person soliciting
(a) has express permission, given by the owner or occupier of the premises on which the automated teller machine is located, to solicit within 5 metres of the automated teller machine, and
(b) solicits only on the premises.
(5) A person commits an offence if the person, while on a roadway, solicits a person who is in or on a stopped, standing or parked vehicle.

Arrest without warrant

4:  (1) In this section, “peace officer” means a peace officer described in paragraph (c) of the definition of “peace officer” in section 29 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) A peace officer may arrest without warrant any person who the peace officer believes on reasonable and probable grounds is committing an offence under this Act.
Consequential Amendment

[Note: See Table of Legislative Changes for the status of this provision.]

Section(s) Affected Act

5:  Motor Vehicle Act


6: This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Downtown Salmon Arm respectfully acknowledges it operates on the unceded and traditional territory of the Secwepmec Peoples.