Letter writer says she felt uncomfortable and chose not to stay long in the downtown area while visiting the museum recently. (News Bulletin file photo)

Letter writer says she felt uncomfortable and chose not to stay long in the downtown area while visiting the museum recently. (News Bulletin file photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Social problems make downtown feel uninviting

Open drug use and other factors deter visitors, says letter writer

To the editor,

While attempting to visit the Nanaimo Museum this month, my four young children and elderly friend had a very unpleasant experience downtown.

Upon exiting the elevator at the Harbourfront Library, we were met by three street-entrenched people who appeared to be living in the elevator lobby area. The room was filled with cannabis smoke, one of the gentlemen was scrambling to put away various drug paraphernalia and there was a hunting knife lying on the floor next to him. After passing by the library, we were met by another large crowd of street-entrenched individuals outside of the museum. These individuals were clearly under the influence of various substances, and possibly engaging in distribution of drugs. This experience left me very uncomfortable, and we chose not to stay long in the downtown area. On returning to our car we found a pair of discarded men’s underwear outside the same elevator we entered through.

If this is the way our city is going to be represented on a worldwide scale as summer approaches and tourism season ramps up, we can be certain that tourists will be turned off from spending time in our city, and unlikely to spend money. Consequently, businesses will suffer and so will workers in our city.

More needs to be done to address the mental health crisis, homelessness, and opioid crisis in our city, province, and country.

Meghan Hawkes, Nanaimo


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.

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Letters to the editor