To clarify, the downtown belongs to all of us

If the province won’t help with downtown vagrancy, the city must explore solutions

Dear Editor,

After reading the June 6 editorial and the article entitled City of Terrace reviews downtown security patrol, I wanted to share some contextual information. As quoted, I stated that housing and mental health was a provincial mandate and not the city’s. After I said this, though, I also mentioned that our downtown belongs to all of us and that, if the province wasn’t going to help out, we would need to do something. When the matter was referred back to staff, they were asked to look into how much it would cost to continue the security program, if it would make more sense to add bylaw officers instead, and if we paid for it, where the funding could come from. The budget was finalized before this request came in, so this can not be added to the budget. That doesn’t mean there are not options to find ways to get this project going before the 2020 budget, but staff will have to come back to us with those options. I can’t speak for the rest of council, but I do not feel that the two-month trial was long enough to confirm the value of security in the downtown. My hope is that somehow this trial can be extended for a longer period of time to fully assess the benefits of this project and that we can find a way to get it going again sooner rather than later.

Sean Bujtas

City of Terrace Councilor

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