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Crime in Nanaimo brought up in B.C. legislature

B.C. Liberals call for victims’ rights, NDP point to public safety initiatives
Citizens call for public safety at a rally at Country Club Centre last month. (News Bulletin file photo)

Recent crimes in Nanaimo were referenced in the B.C. legislature today as the official opposition criticized the provincial government for patting itself on the back for protecting citizens from violence.

Ellis Ross, B.C. Liberal Party MLA for Skeena, said on Tuesday, Feb. 14, that his party has been bringing accounts from victims of crime to the legislature, and said the NDP government has blamed the federal government and downloaded responsibility on municipalities.

Ross brought up last month’s public safety rally at Nanaimo’s Country Club Centre and mentioned a recent homicide, fatal hit-and-run, and fires in vacant buildings. He said hundreds of people at the rally called on the premier to take accountability.

“People across the province are growing tired of the premier’s excuses amid ongoing crime and social disorder in our communities…” Ross said. “When will the premier put the rights of victims and communities ahead of offenders who repeatedly wreak havoc and terrorize people?”

Mike Farnworth, B.C.’s minister of public safety and solicitor-general, said Ross was mischaracterizing the NDP’s requests to the federal government, on bail reform, for example, and said “it’s not blaming.”

The minister said Premier David Eby, when he was attorney-general, consulted with mayors around the province leading up to last year’s report on repeat offenders.

“Which has initiated other initiatives in terms of mental health and addictions, additional police resources … all of those things designed to assist communities and help keep our communities safe,” Farnworth said.

READ ALSO: Fed up with violent crimes, Nanaimo residents rally to demand better public safety

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About the Author: Nanaimo Bulletin News Staff

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