October 30th, 2020

Lethbridge’s ‘new community’ is a social failure


By Letter to the Editor on November 12, 2019.

Re: “More police officers isn’t the solution,” by Seth Anthony, Nov. 5 letter to the editor.

More officers, more courts, more millions down the drain, more “facilities and staff,” a “dedicated crown prosecutor,” bigger prisons. etc., none of it will make a difference.

The mayor or premier could deputize every citizen in this province – arm everyone, provide a bushel of bullets each, batons and a suit of armour, and if the jails remain jamb-packed, producing smarter criminals, and our courts continue to stay and issue sentences with no noticeable deterrent, this city will continue on a trajectory of social failure. Stronger leadership at the municipal level may seem a solution, but I doubt it. The world’s newspapers are crammed full telling of massive social disobedience, obstruction and calamity everywhere.

Those running a shop here called the Supervised Consumption Site created a job for themselves dependent on “clients.” These huggy folks “keeping clients safe and alive” are 100 per cent our dependents – yes, you and I, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer. We’re funding this morbid industry, ensuring it thrives through taxation – taxation you know will never will be enough – that hand never retracts!

The executive director says they’re just “part of the community” – yes, the new community, our new reality! I do not question the fine sales job those folks have done selling this mess. Within the last week the state of Oklahoma, said to have one of the highest incarceration rates in the U.S., commuted the sentences of 450 criminals charged with “low-level drug and property crimes” – another victory for the “new community.”

An activist group in Ontario, recently launched an action in Superior Court, claiming that “the absolute prohibition of sterile injection equipment” in Canada’s prisons is “overboard and grossly disproportionate.”

Sad! Lock the gates, hope the windows hold against the gale(s), cozy up to your insurance agent, don’t miss a payment and keep the phone by your side and on speed dial 911. We’re living the new reality, the “new community.”

The mayor is lost for answers – so am I!

Alvin W. Shier

Lethbridge

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Citi Zen

The concept of huggy folks “keeping them alive” is flawed. Theoretically the SCS admin would like to see them go through rehab, and come back into society clean and sober. But that’s not happening. What you have if /when they are cleaned up is a dysfunctional, FAS person, brain injured from the drug abuse, and will never be able to hold a job or support him/herself or their family. Thus a further burden on society, for the rest of their life.
And they are at high risk of falling back into the drug scene. Remember, the pusher is their closest friend.
The only solution is to close the SCS, stop playing God, and put their lives in the hands of the Almighty.

phlushie

Alvin, well said the new reality. Soon will have the days of the wild west as we strive to protect our property, our lively hoods and our lives. That or head for the mountains and away from society and live of the land like the pioneers did. Say that may sole the climate change emergency.

gs172

How do we solve this problem? I don’t know and I’m coming to the conclusion that no one else does either. I can’t stand what has happened to our city. I have a friend who moved from Lethbridge to Vancouver about 10 years ago come back to our city for a visit and he was aghast at what he saw. He said that our downtown has become Eastside In Vancouver, and that’s not a compliment.

I want to support programs for people with substance abuse problems but what can do you do? I know for a fact you don’t turn the city over to them and hope for the best. Last week I was sitting at the lights on stafford just north of hwy 3 and I observed a group of people huddled in a circle, I thought nothing of it till I saw one pull out a bottle and start handing out pills and this was at 8 in the morning!

I want someone “in charge” to let us know what we can do besides tolerating it, because I’m up to eyeballs in it and I don’t know how much more I can take.

Dennis Bremner

As I have mentioned before, et nauseum, there is/was a window of opportunity to stop this downward spiral. That opportunity was this summer, we needed a Police Chief that would enforce the law, we needed deterrents to an enjoyable “high” and we needed an increased police force. None were and are forthcoming, we are literally in the last months of any kind of possible reversal, but that reversal had to be an organized plan of attack. I see none, I see the same ole same ole.
Next summer will be too late, we will be overcome with levels of crime we have not seen before in volume.
This is the SCS contribution even though they flip numbers about trying to show that they are not the problem, they are! They were the problem in all of the jurisdictions that also claimed they were not the problem. So SCSs have a record of denial and data manipulation to state “its not our fault”.

It is, it was, and it always will be. How the statistics are manipulated is easy to explain but are pooh-poohed because its to the SCS advantage to use the total data packs to their advantage.

Where SCS’s win is they work the data better than the Police, the Politicians and the Residents. SCSs use Crime Statistics totals as an example of trajectory before and after their arrival and how numbers are either slightly higher based on trajectory or normalized based on peaking. Few bother to breakdown the statistics into subgroups that change because of the SCS arrival. So if you have one less murder but a large increase in Petty thefts the Crime Index drops because of the severity changes. With SCS comes spikes in Petty thefts that once organized becomes the problem residents see and feel.
How do they become organized. the Drug Clubhouse (SCS) or the Party Place where like minded people get together and shoot up and plan out their next robbery/mugging /B&E

The groups then find that size matters and a drug addict that sells drugs to other addicts then realizes he/she has a captured audience of thieves. So he/she puts them to work. Suddenly stolen merchandise is piled in houses owned by the dealers. Those dealers then need a place to fence the items, so they contact their drug supplier who is one tier higher then they are. Suddenly a chain is developed created from SCS to Edmonton/ Vancouver/ Toronto Fences. Suddenly they see little Lethbridge as a successful source of stolen articles and a source of money from drug addicts as the demand for their drugs rises.

How did it all start? SCS, you can flip the numbers till you are blue in the face but Drug Addicts were not organized before the SCS appearance! In fact SCS advertises that they remove addicts from surrounding areas and “focus them in their supervised environment”. Thats true, criminals that did not get together because of geographical separation suddenly have a meeting place to organize. SCS insist they do not do harm and remove addicts from outlier communities or subdivions. They insist they do not create any “harm to the community”, “everything is separate from them”. Its not true, never has been, they are the source, and always will be. Hence the need to produce flip charts trying to prove otherwise.

In 2 years from now when the severity index catapults, they will use their existence from previous years as some sort of proof they did not impact the severity index and its not their fault. It will be!

Its very much like the guy that pours a gallon of oil into the sewer system every day, “its only a gallon of oil”?? But as time goes on, suddenly contamination rises and spreads, the immediate impact is negligible but the cumulative impact is devastating. Thats the SCS signature thats what Spearman, Council, Phillips, and obviously the Chief of Police (who left), never figured out and never will. But then again, I am just a fear monger…..right?

PS- Alvin the reason the Mayor is lost for an answer, is he never bothered to ask the right questions before deciding that he knew it all!

Kal Itea

Alvin W.Shier, preserve your humanity and your decorum, please, no attacks on the good people who work at the centre, they are employees, like you and I used to be, trying to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.