July 16th, 2024

Council addressing motion to establish task force


By Lethbridge Herald on October 17, 2023.

Herald photo by Al Beeber Graffiti is seen on a garbage receptacle at the edge of Galt Gardens. An official business motion will come before city council today calling for the formation of a task force to examine lawlessness here.

Al Beeber
LETHBRIDGE HERALD

An official business motion calling for a collaboration with the Downtown Business Revitalization Zone on a cross-functional task force on lawlessness is among the agenda items when Lethbridge city council meets today at 1:30 p.m.

The motion will be moved by Mayor Blaine Hyggen and Acting Mayor John Middleton-Hope.

The two want council to approve a motion that directs City administration to engage with the BRZ on a task force that will perform several functions.

Those include identifying the symptoms and depth of lawless behaviours and their impacts in Lethbridge.

The mandate of the task force would, if approved, also include:

• Identify stakeholders to strategize on responses and resourcing requirements.

• Work collaboratively with stakeholders to identify solutions and assist in implementing strategies identified to create a sustainable impact.

• Develop a joint communication plan for this task force and its member stakeholders.

• Consider how any recommendations from the task force can support and/or integrate with existing encampment, shelter and housing strategies developed and being implemented by the City of Lethbridge.

The motion says because time is of the essence joint recommendations need to be prepared and presented to council at its meeting on Dec. 12.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda will be a verbal presentation on the City’s encampment strategy by Andrew Malcolm, general manager of Community Social Development.

In a public hearing starting at 3 p.m. council will be asked to give second and third readings to an amendment to Bylaw 6296 – the Clean Energy Improvement Tax Bylaw – to remove the annual cap amounts which will allow foe expedited service delivery of the program, giving more homeowners timely access to funding.

Because of overwhelming demand, the the program is full for this year and there is a wait list that will also fill 2024, says a report to be made by Assessment and Taxation Manager Larry Laverty.

The program presently restricts funding to $800,000 this year, $900,000 in 2024, $1 million in 2025 and $1.1 million in 2026 –  a total of $3.8 million over a four-year period.

The proposal council will address is to eliminate the yearly restriction while maintaining overall funding at the same level which the report says would “allow the program to move forward more quickly than originally estimated and would allow citizens to be served in a more timely manner.”

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Dennis Bremner

I think the task force should be made up of the people that support serving drug addicts where they are! We could also create another task force that would look at “people that bite the hand of those that feed them”. We could make that a permanent task force and serve Kool-Aid at every meeting?

bladeofgrass

Hmmm… now why didn’t the City and council think of that? Oh that’s right! They Did think of that. Following BC’s failure will surely come to great success. Think council is far behind in what ‘was once’ considered the solution, as BC is trying to get rid of exactly what they created. Go figure.

ewingbt

I appreciate they are forming this task force in move to end the issues on our streets, but many of us already know the answer!
Everyday, everynight we see the people who are committing most of the criminal acts hanging out in and around downtown businesses and Galt Gardens.
The truly homeless who need assistance are the ones on the streets all night . . . it is the gangs, who include the prostitutes, the drug dealers, the thieves and those who commit acts of propery damage, violence and spray graffiti.
The truly homeless are not the ones committing these acts.
I applaud the encampment strategy and those who brought it forward and we have seen success, but you will never end the issues downtown overnight without law enforcement being allowed to do their jobs.

Last edited 8 months ago by ewingbt
JustObserving

Another task force , more meetings , more adminstrators and more recommendations to spend tax dollars fixing a problem which is CLEARLY identified…LAWLESSNESS. How do you handle this problem, POLICING. There you go, no task force necc and you an divert the funding which would have gone to coffee and donuts at task force meetings to tax reduction.
Another window dressing to distract from the solution …

ewingbt

I agree . . .everyday I see crimes committed by the ‘homeless’ who hang out all night in front, behind and on the side of businesses, many of which are on private property, the business owners property.
What is needed is police action, but that is useless because the Crown just kicks out their court cases and police have just spent several hours doing the paperwork needed to charge them and in some cases time wasted going to court just to hear it get dismissed.
These are the gangs who remain on the street and refuse to be housed, because the streets are where they operate, their area of operations, where they sell their drugs, sex, stolen goods and steal, damaging property!
I am pleased something is being done, but did we really need a ‘task force’ to understand the issues?
These people have had a free ride committing crimes and one of the unseen factors which are never considered by many is the organized crime element, which you see 24 hours per day, driving circuits downtown, controlling these gangs.
When prostitutes are talked into treatment or re-united with family members, these organized crime members bring in more from other areas, or in some cases, get them back from their families or treatment and back on the streets. I have seen this happen!
You must be prepared to target the organized crime members who operate these lower level drug dealers, prostitutes, etc., or as just stated, replacements will be brought in and you will fail!
Many of these prostitutes are trafficked!
Targetted crime reduction programs have worked and will work here with the help of other government agencies!