Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes speaks during the Quesnel in Action rally Tuesday, Aug. 27 in front of City Hall. Lindsay Chung photo

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes speaks during the Quesnel in Action rally Tuesday, Aug. 27 in front of City Hall. Lindsay Chung photo

‘Quesnel is a very nice city to live in — let’s keep it that way’

Bert deVink says he is very proud of the people in Quesnel who are demanding action

Editor,

Quite a while ago, there was an article in this paper in which our Mayor Bob Simpson explained the limitations and laws the city council has to work with.

As an example, the needle exchange program was canceled by the provincial government and as a result, used needles are now found all over the place. The City is now stuck with the cleanup of these needles.

We don’t have the allotted amount of RCMP officers to even stop the existing crime in this city, but the RCMP is a federal organization, and we are stuck with their decisions.

At this point, the general population of Quesnel is totally fed up with the increasing crime rate, and many of us live in fear of being molested, broken into and our possessions stolen or damaged. The RCMP is demoralized because of the justice system that lets criminals go with a warning or one to three days jail. It is unfortunate that if they serve longer sentences, the jails will be overflowing, and the cost of more jails and staffing is an added cost to the already-heavily-taxed middle-class population.

The increasing amount of homeless people includes seniors, veterans, mentally ill and mothers living in cars, these people the system has failed. If we can separate the criminal element from the truly homeless, we are one step ahead, so join Block Watch — information on Block Watch is available at blockwatch.com — and start the action.

We are not the only ones the present system has failed because demonstrations are now daily worldwide news. It is very sad that the criminal element has infiltrated the already growing amount of homeless people, which increases an already hopeless situation. It is my opinion that the existing system we live under is failing not only the poor but also the middle class, which is shrinking while the very rich are getting richer.

I am very proud that people of Quesnel and surrounding areas are now willing to organize and demanding action. I am also happy that the Quesnel mayor and council are behind us and support us. Despite the rain and the demonstration starting at 4 p.m. so that a lot of working people were unable to attend, the rally was success. Just the same, the [council] meeting was a success, and I hope that more people will attend the next meetings and a possible protest march because living in fear is not a way to live. Quesnel is a very nice city to live in — let’s keep it that way.

Bert deVink

Quesnel

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