Gord Steeves waded into the issue of perceived threats to public safety Friday afternoon when he vowed to round up panhandlers who approach vehicles at intersections.
Steeves said those people are capable of working, but would rather intimidate motorists as a way to raise money for booze or drugs.
"Some people are not bothered by this at all; some people are really bothered by this behaviour," Steeves said. "I’ve had numerous people, particularly women, express to me that when... a man knocks on their car window while they are waiting at a red light, they are at least somewhat fearful."
Steeves said if elected mayor, those people won’t have to be afraid any longer — he would bring a plan to council to amend existing bylaws to make it illegal to solicit occupants of vehicles.
"We will use our bylaw officers to enforce and remove people engaged in this practice," Steeves said.
Standing on the sidewalk at the intersection of Main Street and Stradbrook Avenue, a location popular with panhandlers, Steeves said there is no evidence to suggest that intersection panhandlers are anything but "healthy, able-bodied men," but then admitted he had no evidence to back up that claim.