SCAN gives notice to 810 Wheeler

ver the weekend, the steady trickle of traffic to 810 Wheeler stopped. On Thursday, under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, the owner…

ver the weekend, the steady trickle of traffic to 810 Wheeler stopped.

On Thursday, under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, the owner and occupants were issued a warning letter.

No long after, the telltale green signs showed up on 810 Wheeler’s door.

“I saw the green signs,” said Downtown Residents Association president John Pattimore.

“But where was all the tape?

“I thought they marked up the place for social, community ostracism.”

Not yet, said Crime Prevention and Policing director Lesley Carberry on Monday.

“The owner and occupants were given a warning letter, to let them know we had complaints,” said Carberry.

Occupants were also given a copy of the act, and notified that if their illegal activities didn’t stop they could be evicted for 90 days, she said.

This is the first time SCAN has dealt with an alleged drug house that is owner-operated in the Yukon, said Carberry.

“And the remedies are different than they are for rental properties.”

By working with landlords and evicting tenants, SCAN has successfully dealt with 16 alleged drug houses, since its inception on November 29, 2006.

But this is different, said Carberry.

“We can apply to the court for a Community Safety Order and have the (810 Wheeler) residents moved for up to 90 days.”

However, it may not be necessary.

“The owner was extremely co-operative,” said Carberry.

“She was pleased to have our assistance and posted the signs on the door herself.”

The signs state: “Complaints were made under SCAN regarding habitual activities which have had an adverse effect on the safety and security of this neighbourhood or the peaceful enjoyment of one or more properties.”

It also urges residents to call if these activities continue.

For the first time in more than three years, Wheeler Street residents are enjoying some peace and quiet, said Pattimore.

People are sleeping with their windows open again, and they feel comfortable sitting on their front steps.

“We’ve already noticed a drop in the level of activity, and there are less people wandering the streets,” he said.

The owner has until June 11 to clean things up, said Carberry.

SCAN has been investigating 810 Wheeler for some time, she added.

“We had complaints about this property before our office even opened.”

Dealing with an owner-operated residence is a test for SCAN, said Pattimore.

“SCAN says (residents) can be evicted for 90 days, even if they own it, and that’s the radical part of the act,” he said.

“We have extremely strong property rights written in to most of our laws, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms supports this.

“So SCAN is a bit of a divergence from that — you’re taking somebody’s property rights away — even temporarily — and that’s a very bold step.

“This makes us unique amongst only two or three other jurisdictions in Canada.”

It’s the only way “to shut this garbage down,” said Pattimore.

“My next question, which hasn’t been tested, is can they take over the home and take ownership of it, as the state?

“That would get the owner out of there permanently and let some new owners who aren’t nefarious people move in.”

“A lot of us were wondering when 810 Wheeler would be SCAN-ed,” said neighbour Brian Eaton.

Eaton’s been living in his downtown home for the past 10 years, and for the last three he’s watched people wander up and down his street heading to the alleged crack house.

Although he thinks SCAN’s notice is “a good thing,” Eaton has an overriding concern.

“What is in place in terms of rehabilitation for these people?” he said, thinking of one fellow in particular who he watched wandering up and down his street over the last three or four years.