Comox Valley RCMP officers with the canine unit search properties on Stewart Avenue in Courtenay in June following a report of a shooting. Photo by Erin Haluschak

LETTER – Stats contradict mayor’s contention that Courtenay is safe

Dear editor,

Mayor Bob Wells has repeatedly stated that “Courtenay is a safe place to live,” but the statistics do not back up this claim. While our community is a far cry from the Downtown Eastside, it is undeniable that the crime rate, especially drug-related crime, is on the increase. The recent shootings speak volumes to this end.

The City’s most recent 2018 financial statement underlines the challenge when it comes to policing. Of nearly $10 million budgeted, only $8.9 million was spent. A similar pattern occurred in 2017.

Despite the RCMP staffing shortage not being filled, resulting in the surplus, year over year the policing budget has been increased. Where does this money go when unspent? Back into general revenue to be used at council’s discretion to cover any line items they may have overspent on.

It’s a fancy accounting trick, and accounted for a $1.1 million surplus in last year’s policing budget. For 2019 they are reducing the $560,183 protective services reserve to $360,200, freeing up another $200,000 for other purposes.

RELATED: Mayor responds to inaccuracies in letter

What this accounting bait and switch does not do, however, is address the very real need for an increased policing presence in the City of Courtenay. Our town is experiencing a very real, and steadily increasing burden on policing that is not being met.

While I am glad that Bob Wells personally feels safe in his community, there are many who I talk to that do not. Our citizens should not be intimidated by open drug use and sales in front of our public library, or worried about the constant threat of property crime in their neighbourhoods. We pay property taxes to ensure that we feel safe in our homes and in our community.

I would encourage our mayor and council to openly acknowledge that there is indeed a very real problem, and along with the RCMP, take steps to address it.

Brennan Day,

Courtenay

Do you have an opinion you’d like to share? Email letters@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Multiple complaints filed to Town of Comox against accordion player

Comox received multiple complaints regarding accordion music in a freedom of information request

Comox Change the Debate event set for Wednesday night in Marina Park

Event in solidarity with others across Canada to demand a leaders’ debate on climate change on CBC

Waiting game for Cumberland cannabis licence hopefuls

Applicants gained local support but are going through checks with province

Comox Valley’s music fest feels like ‘best ever’ to organizer

Vancouver Island Music Festival didn’t sell out but still saw strong turnout

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Most Read