A Salmon Arm resident asked city council in May to institute a ban on unsolicited deliveries after receiving from a church an unwanted bag of plastic-wrapped pamphlets at her front door which ended up in the recycling bin. (File photo)

A Salmon Arm resident asked city council in May to institute a ban on unsolicited deliveries after receiving from a church an unwanted bag of plastic-wrapped pamphlets at her front door which ended up in the recycling bin. (File photo)

Unwanted delivery on doorknob in Salmon Arm spurs request for no-soliciting bylaw

Resident dismayed with package of religious pamphlets in plastic that end up in recycling

An email to Salmon Arm council about an unsolicited delivery of religious pamphlets at a resident’s door prompted understanding but not a new bylaw.

Resident Sue Doray wrote to council on May 13, expressing her dismay about finding a green bag filled with religious propaganda on her front door knob when her family returned from a basketball tournament at the Coast.

She asked council to institute a ban on unsolicited deliveries such as this, saying it’s offensive that a church would think it has the right to leave the unwanted, plastic-wrapped bagful at her front door that she’s forced to recycle.

“I initially planned to return the package to the offending church, but worried it would just get passed on to the door knob of another unsuspecting victim. In conversation with several friends who also received these unwanted religious books and pamphlets, the unanimous consensus was overwhelming dismay that a church would spend that much money on dispersing their propaganda and add that much unwanted plastic and printed material to our landfills and recycling program.”

Doray added she doesn’t think any group in Salmon Arm should be allowed to leave unsolicited material that promotes a specific belief or viewpoint at the front door of residents.

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At council’s May 24 meeting, Coun. Kevin Flynn said he agreed with the writer regarding the amount of stuff that ends up on front porches and asked if there’s anything the city can do.

Erin Jackson, the city’s chief administrative officer, said it would be extremely difficult to try to manage the distribution of information to private residences.

Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond said she’s not not in favour of a bylaw, but had a suggestion.

“I completely agree with the author of the letter and I also have safety concerns around being away and someone leaves something on your porch which just tells everyone who goes by you haven’t been around for a while.”

Wallace Richmond noted it’s very common in most municipalities in Quebec, for instance, to have no-soliciting bylaws.

“We don’t have that same culture here, but I would encourage the author to reach out to the community of faith and have her point of view known. Because if nobody tells them it’s unwelcome, and not appreciated, and not helping them in whatever it is they’re trying to achieve, they would have no way of knowing.

“But to go to the extent of implementing a no-soliciting bylaw, I’m certainly not at that point now. I think we’re doing so much online, these kinds of methods are slowly and fortunately going out of style.”



martha.wickett@saobserver.net
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BylawsSalmon Arm council