The City of Nanaimo’s downtown safety action plan seems like a ‘Band-Aid’ approach, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)

The City of Nanaimo’s downtown safety action plan seems like a ‘Band-Aid’ approach, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Downtown safety plan only pushing problems aside

Letter writers weigh in on City of Nanaimo’s plans to add more uniformed officers and cleanup crews

To the editor,

Re: City plans to address downtown Nanaimo safety by adding more uniformed officers, April 20.

I moved to Nanaimo in 2018, and for the first couple years I was here, I spent a lot of time downtown, but that has since ceased, and not because I fear for my safety. It is a testament to the fact that the city has allowed too many people to fall through the cracks and the problem is pervasive. This isn’t about my lack of comfort and safety in Nanaimo, it’s about the lack of support for people who are in desperate situations.

After reading the City of Nanaimo’s plans to invest $2.5 million annually for safety officers, clean teams, ambassadors, parkade cleaning, etc., I can’t help but be disappointed and shocked that a ‘Band-Aid’ approach would be taken, when that money could be invested in so many other ways to provide direct support services, rehabilitation support, and housing for the unhoused and those living with addiction in Nanaimo to address the root causes of why our city is the way it is.

To me, this safety action plan exists to allow the elite in Nanaimo to feel more comfortable, while simply just covering up the impact that addiction and homelessness have gotten this way due to the city’s less-than-compassionate approach to the unhoused in our community. These are human beings who deserve dignity, help, and support, not to be just covered up and hidden away, pretending they’re not there, for the comfort of people who want to shop or eat downtown.

The way to address safety in Nanaimo isn’t through projects that simply seek to hide the social issues that have consumed our cities; it’s to provide adequate support to the people who have nothing, are sick and are in desperate situations.

Anne-Marie Fischer, Nanaimo

READ ALSO: City plans to address downtown Nanaimo safety by adding more uniformed officers

To the editor,

Re: Social problems make downtown seem uninviting, Letters, March 30.

This letter hit the nail on the head. It looms like an 880-pound gorilla nobody talks about.

In fact, in my neighbourhood of Newcastle roughly 70 per cent of residents said they also felt unsafe going downtown.

How the city council expects new business owners to invest what was once a charming downtown defies logic. The current mayor and council are outwardly sympathetic to the plight of its citizens in the face of such crime and social disorder but throw up their hands and push the problem onto provincial or federal solutions that don’t exist.

We can for example enforce existing bylaws of banning downtown ‘camping’ and perhaps make new bylaws banning open drug consumption. If I can’t enjoy a glass of wine with my picnic at the park, why should we tolerate others openly injecting opioids and smoking meth in public? Why do we allow a few hundred addicted or mentally ill individuals to ruin our city?

Owen Bentley, Nanaimo

READ ALSO: B.C. cities protest ‘prolific offenders’ with hundreds of arrests

To the editor,

Re: City plans to address downtown Nanaimo safety by adding more uniformed officers, April 20.

So, the city will reduce the contract from private security firms, hire city staff and university students to control the problems in downtown Nanaimo? One councillor noted how “we are building the ship as we’re trying to fly it.” Really? I’ve never seen a ship fly. A ship has a strong steady course. Unlike our city council.

Can I get the uniformed safety officers, downtown ambassadors and clean team to come out to my mom’s where she lives in the north end? The thieves are rampant out there. There’s nothing like getting off work late at night and sitting in my mom’s driveway and watching the thieves come out at night.

Kind of reminds me how the city councillors are spending a few million here or there while all the taxpayers aren’t at the city hall meeting. While they’re not steering the ship.

Donna Rye, Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Nanaimo’s health and housing task force presents action plan to address homelessness


The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin.

Letters policy: Letters should be no longer than 250 words and will be edited. Preference is given to letters expressing an opinion on issues of local relevance or responding to items published in the News Bulletin. Include your address (it won’t be published) and a first name or two initials, and a surname. Unsigned letters will not be published.

Mail: Letters, Nanaimo News Bulletin, 777 Poplar St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 2H7

Fax: 250-753-0788

E-mail: editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Letters to the editor