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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LUSH Valley comes to the aid of Washington Inn tenants

Submitted by BC Housing The reality of the COVID-19 pandemic descended on… Continue reading

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Habitat for Humanity re-opens Comox Valley store, build site

The store will also be taking donations by appointment in near future

Cumberland weighs its carbon offset options

Aim of the offsets is for local governments to make up for carbon footprint

SALUTE TO FRONTLINE WORKERS: Firefighters put special skill set to the test during pandemic

The Comox Valley Record has produced a special supplement for its May… Continue reading

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

Comox Valley Bouquets for Week of May 18-24

Thanks for the coffees; bouquets to City of Courtenay

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Most Read