Manitoba town to ban kids at night

Killarney mayor Rick Pauls says the kids are too fast for police


Manitoba town to ban kids at nightRick Pauls wants the kids off his streets. As the mayor of Killarney, Man., he’s trying to pass a bylaw that would fine parents $250 when children ages 17 and under are caught outside after 1 a.m. “It’s not that we have a big crime problem,” he says. “We just have some youngsters out to all hours of the night disturbing the peace.”

Pauls says youths are climbing on cars, damaging rooftops, and throwing park benches into lakes, and that they escape too quickly for police. He blames the situation on a society that has gotten too soft. “Today in school you can’t fail a kid because you might hurt their feelings. You don’t try out for little league anymore, everybody gets on the team,” he says. “In life there’s winners, there’s losers and there’s consequences for your actions. It’s time that as a society we start instilling those values again.”

But curfews are controversial, and likely beyond the power of the mayor to implement. In 2007, one was thrown out in Thompson, Man., after a resident sued the city. Attempts at enacting curfews in Quebec and New Brunswick met with similar results. Lawyer Ron Dearman fought the town in the Thompson lawsuit. He says the Killarney curfew “violates the Charter, violates the Constitution of Canada and it also violates the Municipal Act of Manitoba.”

Dearman says curfews go beyond a municipality’s legal jurisdiction and pose unreasonable limits on children’s rights. He also says they often target the wrong people. “My son worked and his work hours often meant that he’d be out after the curfew hour or before the curfew ended,” he says. “So every time he was out of the house he would have been subject to detention and arrest.” Dearman says the only way to reduce crime is to hire more police, and not burden them with worrying about what kids are up to after dark. Otherwise, all you’re going to do is “saddle the police with a babysitting role.”

Pauls hopes to have the bylaw in effect by Oct. 1. To date no Canadian town has managed to keep a curfew when challenged.


Manitoba town to ban kids at night

  1. I was part of the steering committee that implemented Portage la Prairie's curfew some year's ago – I was apparently the voice of the youth and even then I thought it was misguided, poorly judged and was an insult to the younger generation. Reading that Killarney want to do this is ridiculous.

    It's a smaller town, in the same province, with an even smaller population than Portage's. When will the "elders" of the town realise that it only takes a bit of understanding and respect of today's youths to create some cohesion between the two groups. I can't see this lasting very long or actually being carried forward. It's time for the council to grow up and be less restrictive.

    • Portage la Prairie and Killarney are like night and day. It is not rediculous that we want a curfew. How does it violate rights? Should these kids have free run until they actually do something really stupid like setting garages and houses on fire until some innocent citizen dies in their sleep? Do these darling children deserve respect? When I was growing up I was taught to respect others, their property and to suffer the consequences if we did not. The police know who these kids are, let them do their job. If these parents of the kids do not do their job, shouldn't someone step in to set these kids on the right path? Just last week one of our firebugs was under house arrest, he set someones vehicle on fire in their driveway. Luckily a neigboor noticed the siding on the house starting to melt and called 911. Another member of this same family is in juvenile custody. These kids need help!!! Respectful youth do not spend their time setting peoples property on fire. So if our town elders and rcmp want to step in… all the power to them. At least they care.

  2. Maybe it''s time for the kids parents to grow up. 12 year olds out at 200 AM? Get real.

  3. '…pose unreasonable conditions on childrens' rights..' If children behave, then there isn't a problem. When they don't, then there has to be consequences and these days, there aren't any. I agree with Pauls. It's time parents took responsibility for their children. Why hire more police when the problem is with parents who don't look after their kids and know where they are.

    If the kids are old enough to cause disturbances, then they are old enough to face consequences. If kids work night shifts, fine, then they get some sort of pass saying they can be out late. Otherwise, $250.00 fine for parents sound reasonable to me or they pay for the damage (in which case, they should have the kids pay…the consequence of their bad behaviiour).

    • I think that the “pass” could just be a note signed by the parents, because lots of the kids are sneaking out.

  4. “saddle the police with a babysitting role.”
    The parents whose kids are out after 1 AM are already doing this. It's sad that financial repercusions are whats needed to inspire parents to be good parents, but that's how it is. I say charge them $1000!

  5. Am I the only one that sees it? The plan is to invent a law to 'catch' the kids that the police cannot catch right now? Oh, ok, I get it??? The only kids that will be caught by this are the ones that don't run when the police show up, that should fix the problem for sure…
    What is it that makes people think in this manner? And all the righteous come up with additional oppression to make sure the point gets across to the kids that are caught… the ones that don't run when the police show up because they have done nothing wrong… except having been born in a place where kids are oppressed.
    It would seem this proposed intervention would better serve the 'lip service' of a politician than address the issue at hand in an effectual manner.

  6. i agree with cleargreen

  7. children arent meant to be oppressed thi isnt nazi gemany

  8. There are a few kids that are disrespecting others property,they need to be held accountable, their parents need to step up and be accountable as well. I agree that there should be a curfew. One AM is not an unreasonable time for these kids to be home if they are not working or playing sports. This is not oppression or violating childrens rights if they are not being responsible citizens. These kids have overstepped their boundaries of being just a kid. As a victim of theft of my personal property it pisses me off that the police know who these kids are but can not do anything unless they catch them in the act. I am sure if we as victims of their crimes were to steal or vandalize their property or their parents property, the shoe would be on the other foot. The parents that are opposing this curfew are the ones who do not want to deal with their kids or their problems. For the most part Killarney is a very nice quiet safe town. The majority of the kids in this town are responsible, it is only a gang of monkeyasses that need to get help. Let the rcmp,teachers,town council do their jobs! As a parent I would have welcomed a curfew, knowing that all the minors are safe in a home rather than out getting in trrouble.

  9. Can kids not get into trouble in the hours before 1:00 am? Where does it all stop. Where are the parents, why are their children out so late?

    • i am one of those kids. the kids stay home till there parents are a sleep then they sneak out then we do dumb shit. and i did the dumbest ever you probly herd about it to.__

  10. i am one of those kids. the kids stay home till there parents are a sleep then they sneak out then we do dumb shit. and i did the dumbest ever you probly herd about it to.

  11. Seriously here, I will give my own opinion as that is what I am allowed to do as a Canadian. First of all it's not about punishing the kids Cleargreen who don't run, really it's all about making parents accountable for their children. Does this really need to be discussed, this really pisses me off that people honestly believe that the Police really care about the fines or better yet even go looking for these kids out late…No…is what they really want is Parents to be Parents. Everyone here has made very legitimate points about the curfew in that town but Wow, if people believe this is infringing youth's rights, what about the rights of the hard working people who work their ass off for everything in their possession. Seeing as we have no justice any more for real criminals we might as well get them stopped before they reach that point, as I stated earlier, we need parents to learn how to be parents then town's don't need to do what this town did in Manitoba. Way to go Killarney Mayor for standing up for your community and Police, I believe we need more Mayor's in this Country to have the you know what to take the stand on Justice.

  12. I am Canadian and I believe in freedom but if we as Parents don't have accountability for our Children's actions then we are not responsible Parents. I could go on but come on people how difficult is it to see what this Town has done to impose a place where people want to raise their children with RULES, and LAWS. Only criminal minds see the negative side of all of this.

  13. I have a friend who grew up in Killaney and use to go there a lot and the kids there are terrible. I also don't think that they should be out that late. Why does a kid under sixteen need to be out in the middle of the night. It is not up to the police to stop the brats it's there parents they should be actually parenting there children and teaching them right and wrong. People love to blame outside sources for there problems. Parents step up and do your job. You had kids, you should take care of them. It's not the towns responsibility to raise your children. Also a little note. Killarney is not a reserve. They don't have elders, they have a town council.

  14. It shouldn’t be about punishing EVERY kid out past 1a.m. Lots of youth have a legitimate reason to be out that late (job, gone to see a movie, etc) it’s the troublemakers that are the problem; and honestly if anyone tried to fine you for violating curfew all you’d need was a copy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.