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By Wes Brown
The face of Shinerama may be forever changed pending the results of a report due in early April.
The report, scheduled to be released by the Environment Transmission Committee and the London Police on April 10, would decide the City of London's stance on the recent Safe Streets Act/Shinerama issue.
The Safe Streets Act is the new provincial legislation which made soliciting donations from highway traffic illegal. This law would put a huge damper on Shinerama, Western's annual fund-raiser for Cystic Fibrosis. The charity event depends heavily on city traffic for a huge portion of their total funds collected.
Tony McGowan, acting deputy Chief with the London Police, said the police began pursuing the issue as soon as the legislation was enacted. He added there were a lot of charity events, such as Shinerama, who wanted to know where they stood under the new legislation.
"Initially people said, 'Well, that's the end of Shinerama and the fire department's boot drive,'" McGowan said. "You'll have a Shinerama, I'm not sure it's going to be business as usual with students soliciting donations as they did in the past, but the event will go on."
He added the police would not increase the number of officers patrolling London the day of the event. "There is a long history between the City, the police and Shinerama. We all accept and expect the event every year."
Manager of legislative services for the City of London's Legal Department Kelly Best said the City's stance on the issue was contingent on the ETC's report. "At this point in time, the City hasn't taken one side or the other. The options the municipality has will all come from the report."
Best said unless the province gave municipalities the ability to pass a by-law in their jurisdiction which could take precedent over the Safe Streets Act, the City would be unable to amend the current provincial legislation.
"The province put the legislation in place for a reason but deputy Chief Brian Collins has asked for an amendment to the Safe Streets Act to allow the soliciting of funds for registered charities," Best said.
While the state of Shinerama remains up in the air, University Students' Council president-elect Dave Braun said he was confident the charity event would be fine.
"I've talked with Leslie Tummonds [next year's Shinerama commissioner] and everybody up here is not worried about the state of Shinerama for next year," he said.
"No one's going to mind students walking on the sidewalk asking for donations."