Letters to the Editor:
When I left Sioux Lookout 20 years ago after having lived there for three years, the late Leo Bernier told me, “You are getting out at the right time.” Boy was he ever right.
It is totally disheartening to see that many of the issues concerning loitering and criminal code offenses on Front Street have only intensified in the time since. Business owners Joe Carbone and Nancy Roy are 100 per cent correct in voicing their frustrations about this and the crazy decision to put a warn up centre on Front Street to compound already existing problems. The number of businesses that have closed in the community over the last 20 years is unfortunate but will only increase if this behavior is not curtailed. Why shop at local Front Street businesses and put up with this while popular national retailers and restaurants are only a car ride away?
As for the individuals committing crimes on Front Street, many of them refuse help and feel that nobody has any right whatsoever to interfere with their enjoyment of the outdoors. I see that one recent letter to the Bulletin bemoaned the lack of interest in volunteer patrols to help the Front Street situation. Well here in Saskatoon, a group of co-workers was recently returning from lunch back to work when a resident of the downtown homeless shelter here started chasing them swinging a hatchet on the sidewalk. How would you like to face that while out volunteering?
At least here in the city, you have the option of shopping at malls or big box areas if you wish to avoid the downtown. Of course, malls are private property and have codes of conduct where people displaying “Front Street” behaviors are permanently barred. In Sioux Lookout, you end up cursing yourself for going there in the first place and what you have to view on a daily basis. More could be done by politicians to address these issues.