Curbing the roadside ask – Begging ban applied to charities

An Ontario law against roadside panhandling has also halted some charitable drives, the Associated Press reports.

The month-old ban was aimed at panhandlers who clean windshields at traffic lights and then demand money.

But local officials have used the law to shut down an annual collection drive by local firefighters for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Those firefighters normally raise more than $12,000 each year, George Henderson, the national manager of the campaign, told AP.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association says it could lose more than $500,000 if the entire collection drive is stopped.

Hal Vincent, an aide to the Ontario Attorney General, told AP the provincial justice ministry has not received any complaints from charity.

“The idea is to have roadways safe,” he said. “When people are out in the middle of roadways, it’s not a safe proposition.”

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