Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps wants to see fewer news boxes on city streets, stating they are no longer needed and are often filled with garbage.
In a motion coming to a committee on Thursday (Aug. 6), Helps and Coun. Charlayne Thorton-Joe recommend city council request that staff asks companies to remove newspaper boxes from city property and if they don’t, the city will do so.
The motion, citing a letter from the Downtown Victoria Business Association, states that with the use of the internet and libraries, newspaper boxes are no longer needed. Companies do not pay a fee for the use of public space and there is no licensing regime.
“Companies are benefiting from public space without paying for it, including using boxes for advertising, whereas small business owners have to pay a fee for sandwich boards and also must receive a licence,” reads the motion. “The boxes clutter our downtown streets and detract from a high-quality public realm.”
According to the DVBA, members of the Clean Team report frequently needing to pick up magazines which have been scattered by careless or mischievous people, adding that there is rarely a workday where none of the workers have to remove graffiti from the boxes.