Winnipeg changes tune on transit bus singing ban

Winnipeg city officials say they're taking a proposed bylaw that would ban singing or playing musical instruments on transit buses back to the drawing board.

Proposal to slap $100 fines for singing, performing on buses sparks outcry

The City of Winnipeg announced Thursday it is clarifying a bylaw that would slap a $100 fine for singing, playing a musical instrument or "staging a live musical performance on a Transit bus or on Transit property." (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Winnipeg city officials say they're taking a proposed bylaw that would ban singing or playing musical instruments on transit buses back to the drawing board.

The City of Winnipeg announced Thursday it's developing amendments to clarify the bylaw, which would slap a $100 fine for singing, playing a musical instrument or "staging a live musical performance on a Transit bus or on Transit property."

Council's executive policy committee approved the bylaw on Wednesday, prompting a chorus of protest from the public.

“The intent of the proposed Transit By-Law is to provide improvements to Transit safety and security, and to provide a mechanism to manage disruptive behaviour on the Transit system,” Winnipeg Transit director Dave Wardrop stated in a news release Thursday.

“With some revised wording, we expect that the purpose of the proposed By-law will be clearer that the intent is not to limit freedom of expression.”

Most readers on CBCNews.ca's comments section and the CBC News Facebook page panned the original decision, wondering why the city even took the time to address singing on the bus when surely other, more pressing matters might demand their attention.

Wardrop said the bylaw is meant to deal with inappropriate behaviour more effectively.

"If a Transit user is singing in a manner that is not disturbing fellow passengers or the Transit operator, there is no issue,” he said.

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