No – It is NOT okay to urinate on a public boulevard.
A school bus driver lost his job for believing he was doing nothing wrong by stopping his bus in front of the same house in Transcona each day and responding to the call of nature. A woman who lives on the street called Student First Bus Line repeatedly but the behaviour continued. This wasn’t a one time emergency. This was a daily occurrence. She wanted the bus company to make the driver stop but nothing was done. Finally she video-taped the man standing on the bottom step of the school bus and relieving himself on the boulevard in front of her house. At last the company realized it had no choice but to fire the driver.
Curiously he has received a huge amount of support on our Facebook page and the woman has been vilified. This is backwards thinking at its utmost. He didn’t duck into a back lane in the dark because he was having a problem that couldn’t be solved by waiting. He was doing it in public – daily! It was 8:00 in the morning so there are plenty of places open at that time of day where washrooms are readily available to the public. And if you have to buy a pack of gum or a small cup of coffee, fine. That’s a small price to pay for not breaking the law.
And that’s the point… Urinating on a public street is not only crass, classless and vulgar, it is against the law. His privacy wasn’t violated, his rights not trampled upon. Students First could have prevented this man from losing his job had the company addressed the women’s complaint the first time she called but after multiple calls and no action she took the same sort of action many of us would have taken. We’re also not talking about someone who has an eight hour shift with no bathroom breaks. A school bus morning shift isn’t that long.
Let’s not misplace our sympathy on someone who feels it is his right to expose and relieve himself on Winnipeg’s streets. If your child had been walking down the street and witnessed this man, you’d be screaming for action. Thankfully that’s what we got. The boulevards of Winnipeg are not anyone’s pubic toilet.