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Petition blasts Peterborough 'Downtown Ambassador' program

Petition blasts Peterborough 'Downtown Ambassador' program
From Global News - August 10, 2017

Theyre calling them downtown ambassadors.

Private contractors hired by the Downtown Business Improvement Area are supposed to help tourists find their way, make change for parking meters and look out for litter-bugs in Peterborough and those engaging in anti-social behaviour. And according to DBIA executive director Terry Guiel, its going well.

Our businesses love it. Ive got several emails, and people have been coming in, talking, saying how much they love the program reports Guiel.

But the idea of using private security on public property bothers some residents, like musician Nick Ferrio. Ferrio has launched an online petition calling for the program to be scrapped.

According to the petition,The Downtown Ambassador Initiative will push poor people out of public spaces in the interests of downtown businesses, leading to intimidation, harassment and the criminalization of those facing mental illness, poverty and homelessness.

READ MORE: Downtown ambassadors pilot project kicks off Tuesday in Peterborough

I dont think Peterborough should have private policing in the downtown. I think we should leave that up to the Peterborough police, says Ferrio.

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