Letters to the Editor:
Cold Weather Drop In Centre
I am writing this letter regarding concerns of our downtown core. While there are valid concerns for business owners in our downtown core and on Front Street, there is an undertone of “someone needs to make the problem go away”. The Warming Centre on Front Street has not created any new problems, but now we can more prominently see the numbers of people in need of help. Stating the “issues” over and over (loitering, littering, urination, and defecation in public areas, etc.) will not help anything. Pointing fingers and dehumanizing people in these situations is of no help. Complaining through various forms of media will not help either. It only creates more animosity and lack of understanding. I, for one, volunteer with our local Makwa Clan Patrol as often as possible. I commend Mayor Doug Lawrance and Darlene Angeconeb on their commitment to these patrols. With the loud of outcry for solutions, it surprises me that this amazing initiative only has a base of about five regular volunteers. Through volunteering on the Makwa Clan Patrol I have met people that are on our streets and have had the opportunity to listen to their stories and build trust and relationships. They are people like anyone else. This Patrol is one avenue to help our community and is always seeking volunteers! If there are community members that are sincerely interested in helping people and have new ideas, please bring them to the newspaper and social media so that a plan of action can be put into place! Maybe researching into models from other cities and towns that have been successful is one way we can move forward. Being kind to people you see and volunteering to pick up litter are simple ways of helping too. Let’s be proactive instead of reactive to create a community that is welcoming to all.
Candice Cecchetto, Community Member