Monday, July 13, 2009

Keeping Courtenay Safe Blog on the Defense

My intention when I started this blog was mainly to point out a big problem we have in the Comox Valley, and those are drug houses and crack houses where the Valley’s hooligans live. They’ve been around for a long time, for over 12 years I’ve seen no change. I don’t think they’re on every street corner, but I think every neighborhood has one. They harbor criminals, young prostitutes, and sometimes hate groups. I know drugs houses are everywhere and in every city in this country, but I think we’re a small enough community to curb them and eliminate.
So the day after the attack all my friends were talking about the attacks and how they lived in a drug house and are white supremacists, I got really really upset.

I thought to myself, is this what we’re going to see more of? Coupled with the fact a good friend of mind was jumped buy a group of hooligans when he was younger. After that he was always afraid to be out late. Then you always hear stories of someone close to you getting roughed up or something.

At that moment I asked myself: what was being done about it? Why do these reports of unprovoked attacks never stop? Do I still want to raise my children there?

What Good Does Talking About the Issues Do?
I want to bring light onto this issue. That way the citizens of Courtenay can be educated when they vote for a new Mayor, City Council Members, and School Board Trustees in the civil elections. Also people should know about these problems with young people before voting for their MLA.

It is also good that we know about the issues that plague our community so that we can take our concerns to the already elected members of local government.

My Suggestion to Fix Our Problem:

This Blog is Helping Spread Rumors
That might be true, but what I’m trying to do is hold the media and police accountable. I believe that the RCMP was not going to invested or probe the issues as closely as they did without the intense media attention and questioning. Without it, I think, the case would have been swept under the rug without the public knowing of it.

Also, I think critical thinking and questioning is needed to maintain accountability with our public officials, like our Mayor and city council who didn’t say a word about the attack while they voted on a protocol, made to end hate related crimes in the Comox Valley. Could have said, “Hey the wording isn’t right, so in light of the recent attack, let’s send this back and get things rolling again soon.”
You can read my rant to City Hall Here:

The coverage will give the men an unfair trail and sentencing
Even with the coverage, our Justice and Court System will treat this case fairly. They will use the facts gather by police and will determined if any crime was committed that day.
And if the media coverage has biased the sentencing, then we have a bigger problem – a flawed justice system. But I have faith in it because I know how honorable, righteous and diligent our court system is.

*UDATE 12.7.2009* Just read a blog comment I agree with and would like to share:

I watched as the Courtenay City Council rejected signing the Justice Committees Protocol for dealing with harassment, intimidation & racism.

Anneal Datto shared a personal story of racism that he encountered as a young man on a soccer team.

Mayor Phelps response was "Maybe we should ban Soccer."

I can see the point that this document may be flawed; the wording may not be perfect and the protocol perhaps redundant.

Greg and councillors agreed that it's simply a "Feel Good" document. Right now I need to Feel Good! Courtenay needs to Feel Good, We need to feel Safe, and we need to feel part of a community that shares the values of this protocol.

Stop being so stubborn; in light of these recent events, your reasons don't seem so valid anymore.

Sign the damned protocol.

John Van Egmond

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