During the regular meeting of Moose Jaw City Council on May 27, Councilor Kim Robinson advanced a motion proposing a bylaw that would restrict overnight hours in Moose Jaw public parks — essentially giving more teeth to police efforts to combat illegal activity downtown. 

“At this time, I wish to make a motion that administration be directed to bring forward a bylaw to restrict the access to parks throughout the city between certain hours,” Robinson announced. 

The proposal was an open-ended one and Robinson indicated that he hoped the city’s Parks and Recreation Department would be able to speak to just which parks are the problem areas and what hours might be most useful. 

Robinson is council’s representative on the Parks, Recreation, and Facilities Advisory Committee, which last met on May 14. 

“Further to that,” Robinson clarified, “this was in line with something that we had discussed with the Parks and Rec Advisory Committee, and looking at some areas, perhaps Crescent Park ... Possibly midnight to 6 a.m. or some like that, where we’re restricting access to the park to allow our police force to have a bylaw that’s enforceable rather than having vagrancy and that sort of thing.” 

There were immediate questions from other councilors, including Heathy Eby, who wanted to know which parks Robinson was hoping to see restricted. 

"Are we meaning that we’re just going to get the report (from administration) and maybe decide what parks? Or is it school playgrounds and parks, or just Crescent Park? ... How are we going to decide?” Eby asked. 

“I believe what we discussed was that the Parks and Recreation Department would come back (with ideas),” Robinson clarified. “They know better (about) the parks and times. 

“It certainly doesn’t have to encompass every park, but it could. At this point, it’s kind of open to (Parks and Recreation) Director (Derek) Blais and his group to bring forward some relevant times and parks.” 

After some hesitation, city council voted unanimously to advance the motion to ask administration for a bylaw proposal. 

The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for June 10, 2024.