Nanaimo city council reinstated downtown security after the program’s funding had run out. NEWS BULLETIN file photo

City councillors reinstate downtown security patrols

Councillors voted unanimously to restore funding for service, which had expired

Nanaimo city council reinstated downtown security after funding for the service had run out.

On Monday at a committee of the whole meeting at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, Nanaimo councillors voted unanimously to restore funding for security guards downtown.

Kevan Shaw, president of the Victoria Crescent Association, made the request to councillors.

“We’re witnessing increases in downtown lawlessness, aggressive panhandling, open illegal drug use, defecation and assaults,” he said. “Some RCMP are now telling me it’s the worst they have ever seen it. Security says it is the worst.”

Tracy Samra, city chief administrative officer, said the community vitality committee and public safety committee are both looking at the issue and said the city has also been undertaking public engagement around downtown safety. But she said that the budget for security guards through Footprints Security Patrol had run out and there weren’t sufficient funds in that city department for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Councillors talked about different ways to address the issue including a task force.

“That’s a discussion to have and we need to have it, but we need to put that support back in place,” said Coun. Diane Brennan, speaking in support of Coun. Bill Yoachim’s motion to restore funding for security.

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong said she agrees that some of the issues Shaw mentioned are getting worse, but stressed that the city doesn’t have the money to pay for all the programs and services necessary.

“Until there’s a significant influx of provincial and federal dollars, we’re going to be stuck with a lot of issues because there’s no capabilities at the hospital to house these people, there’s no places where they’re a resident, it’s just a revolving door,” she said. “So until we can get some commitments from the federal and provincial government, I don’t believe this all needs to fall on the city’s hands. I know that part of it does.”

Coun. Ian Thorpe said in speaking with downtown merchants lately, they’re expressing frustration and anger and say things have gotten worse.

“[When] they go out to get a cup of coffee and have to cross the street, they call it running the gauntlet,” Thorpe said. “And it’s just not a safe situation for our downtown business people or tourists or residents.”

He said it’s “the very least we can do” to reinstate security guards.

The motion carried unanimously. No dollar figure was specified on Monday, but a city report from the bylaw, regulation and security section in September requested $25,000 to continue security patrols until the end of 2017.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

A picture of John taken at Children's Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River grocery store parking lot

The seven-year-old Campbell River resident has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

A video message from Mrime Minister Justin Trudeau was streamed to attendees at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Tuesday morning. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance image)
Prime minister greets Vancouver Island economic summit attendees

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance conference being held virtually this week

Candice Woloshyn prepares her flower beds for the next season at her ‘Dirty Girl Flowers’ farm in Merville. Despite the pandemic, Woloshyn was able to sustain her homegrown business as community members opted for regular deliveries of fresh cut flowers. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.
Vancouver Island flower farmers were blooming as the pandemic wilted everything else

Floriculturists saw increased subscriptions as fresh flowers became a ‘sight for sore eyes’ during isolation

Struggling to afford rent, Sylvia Bailey is hoping to trade her love of cooking for some more affordable accommodation. (Photo courtesy of Sylvia Bailey)
Retired Victoria woman looking to cook, clean or garden in exchange for rent

Sylvia Bailey is hoping to use her love for cooking to help afford rent

View Royal Coun. John Rogers stands next to an unearthed home heating oil tank. As a way to prevent environmental disasters, he is lobbying for a provincial registration system and mandatory inspection for all above-ground tanks, as well as a requirement to remove any underground tanks not used for a prescribed period of time. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Efforts to regulate Greater Victoria home heating oil tanks continues

View Royal councillor part of movement to identify old tanks, prevent catastrophic leaks

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating two fires set in the stairwell of an apartment building after they were deemed suspicious by Nanaimo Fire Rescue. (Photo submitted)
Fires set in apartment building under investigation in Nanaimo

Paper set alight in apartment building stairwells being investigated as arson

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

Ucluelet RCMP detachment. (Westerly file photo)
Driver facing charges after crashing into pedestrian at Ucluelet crosswalk

“It’s a reminder to slow down and pay attention,” said Sgt. Steve Mancini.

In a statement, BC RCMP’s media relations officer Cpl.Chris Manseau said that even an amount as small as grain of sand could be fatal. (File photo)
Sayward RCMP alerts residents after highly toxic carfentanil found in village

The opioid’s toxicity levels is 100 times more than that of fentanyl

Father Charles Brandt, a hermit priest. File Photo
Island environmentalist and Catholic priest-hermit Father Charles Brandt passes away

He devoted his life to protecting and preserving the Comox Valley’s natural habitats

Most Read