LETTER: ‘Stinkin’ thinking’ sinking Port Alberni

Sounds exactly like the community meeting held 10 years ago…

To the Editor,

Re: “Public airs frustrations over crime,” Dec. 27, 2017.

Sounds exactly like the community meeting held 10 years ago, addressing proposed expansion of the homeless shelter, where concerns and demands were hurled at then new RCMP-OC, Insp. Mac Richards, whose message was the same then as present Insp. Brian Hunter’s: “We’re not going to arrest our way out of this.”

And not because the RCMP aren’t doing their jobs, but because crimes perpetually complained about are driven by poverty, homelessness, mental illness, and addictions. Issues better addressed (with inter-governmental help) by a committed/caring community as a whole, willing to work at tough issues on the front-end rather than dump them into the lap of law-enforcement on the back-end.

But perhaps Mayor Mike Ruttan hit upon an answer when, interviewed for a TV news item featuring crime levels in Port Alberni, he remarked “there are pockets of behaviour here that are downright anti-social.”

That would be anti-social racism. Indeed, I’ve been shocked too often at the ignorant and vehemently hate-filled anti-social racism expressed by some non-aboriginal community members.

Then there’s anti-social, negative, even mysogenistic attitudes towards women, too often involving violence, generating the need for many support services for women and causing an ever-increasing number of purple ribbons sprouting up along Stamp Avenue.

Then there’s Port Alberni’s NIMBYISM.

Almost a decade ago, I heard concerns raised by prospective neighbours to a proposed Habitat For Humanity build about “those kind of people” who’d be moving in.

Last year, someone wrote the newspaper complaining about “too much free” made available to the poor in this town.

Of all the complainers, I’d like to ask: What “kind of people” are “you”?

For every one who sells their million-dollar Lower Mainland property and brings their wealth to invest in Port Alberni’s tax-base, how many leave (especially once they get a whiff of the town’s stinkin’ thinking) and take their stories with them?

So here’s something (some wise person once said … ), by way of a suggested remedy:

“We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty, and some are dull.

Some have weird names and all are different colours, but they all have to live in the same box.”

Liz Stonard,

Port Alberni

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