letter to the editor391

Making the community safer Open letter to the Premier Dennis Fentie, We would like to thank your government for creating a Substance Abuse Action…

Making the

community safer

Open letter to the Premier Dennis Fentie,

We would like to thank your government for creating a Substance Abuse Action Plan.

Action is certainly needed right now to address the Yukon’s problems with substance abuse.

In particular, we are pleased to learn that, in the legislature on Monday November 14, 2005, a motion was unanimously passed to fast track the creation of legislation similar to Saskatchewan’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act.

This legislation appears to balance the rights of all citizens when dealing with houses where an occupant is selling drugs or bootlegging alcohol.

Many neighbourhoods and communities are plagued by drug dealers, or are the targets of thieves who need money to feed their drug addiction.

We are tired and frustrated at what we see as an injustice.

Many of us work to make the Yukon a better place and yet we see it being destroyed on our very streets by the sale and consumption of narcotics.

We toil raising children, we toil at our jobs (or have toiled at jobs in younger years), we pay taxes, abide by all the laws and yet some of us can’t even get a good night’s sleep because of traffic to and from the drug houses.

Citizens have been robbed, or are fearful of robbery. The RCMP has stated that 80 per cent of property crime is related to substance abuse.

In downtown Whitehorse, in particular, an area that the working poor and senior citizens call home, many residents have expressed fear of leaving their homes at certain times of the day.

That includes a fear of taking out the garbage in the early morning hours because of the condition of people passing by on their way to or from a drug house.

There is a considerable amount of anger and frustration throughout the Yukon at what many see as the ability of drug dealers to operate without much of an impact on their business from law enforcement or the judiciary.

This is why we are writing to you. We urge you to ensure your government departments keep their focus on creating safer communities legislation in time for the spring 2006 sitting of the legislature, as promised in the Nov. 14 motion.

We eagerly await this legislation and expect it to be passed into law in the spring of 2006, as promised in the Nov. 14 motion.

Our communities, our residents who are working to make the Yukon a better place in whatever way they can, deserve a safer summer of 2006.

We’re hoping this legislation, included in the Substance Abuse Action plan, can do that for us.

Downtown Residents Association, Copper Ridge Neighbourhood Association, Hillcrest, Granger, Wolf Creek and Riverdale community associations

Dealing with the bad guys

Further to my recent letter concerning Archie Lang’s clearcutting of .016 hectares on public land to Firesmart his place, possibly jeopardizing the forest industry in the southern lakes area for generations to come, I have been giving this some serious thought and, as Justice John Gomery’s inquiry into the sponsorship scandal will finish next month, would he not be the logical person to look into the above as well as Lang’s boathouse and dock and let’s not forget the septic tank.

Of course he will only be available if, in the meantime, no other group of Liberals are caught with their fingers in the cookie jar.

Now I encourage all Yukoners to come out to vote for Larry Bagnell on the 23rd so that he can pass the handgun ban.

Canada is a much safer place now that my own two rifles are registered, in fact the government registered one of my two guns twice, so I suppose that means that one is twice as safe as the other which can only be a good thing.

Now some may say that the cost of the gun registry was a tad high — say $1 to $2 billion compared to the $2 million budgeted, but gosh folks it’s only money and isn’t it high time we took away the handguns from the current Roy Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy types.

John Skelton

Watson Lake

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