(John clears his throat and self-consciously steps up onto his wobbly soapbox...)
In an article published not too long ago (I think in the Georgia Straight), Bill Teilman (sp?) wrote about Lorne Mayencourt's proposed bill for tougher penalties - fines - against agressive panhandlers. I believe Bill (go Bill) said essentially said that taking this position made Mayencort essentially a hypocrite, since Mr. Mayencourt had been bankrupt twice and had had a loan or two forgiven in his day. My impression is that it was for more than mere pocket change.
Mayencourt's position is, IMHO, too extreme and counter-productive, punishing the poor without offering any contribution towards a long-term solution.
For all his own idealistic promotion, at least Svend Robinson spent a night in a homeless shelter to bring awareness to the homeless problem in Vancouver. And that was years ago, when I think it was not as bad as it is today...
Care to get your sleeping bag out Lorne?