EDITORIAL Solutions key to safety concerns

Critical to the process is that we, as a community, not lose a sense of compassion for our neighbours.

It was good to see that the primary focus of Tuesday’s workshop about downtown Vernon safety was focused on finding solutions than spreading fear and pointing fingers.

Now obviously any activities that put others at risk or create a sense of fear should not be tolerated. Authorities must take immediate action when laws are broken.

However, all of us in the community must understand that simply asking for spare change is not an offense if it’s done respectfully and there is no intimidation.

Simply being homeless or hanging out on the corner does not mean they are involved in criminal activity. If anything, it may mean they are preyed on by those who take advantage of others, including drug sellers and johns.

The homeless and the disadvantaged are part of our community and they have the same right to frequent downtown just as any other citizen, as long as they are respectful.

“Let’s not label one group as the root of the problem,” said Mayor Akbal Mund after the workshop.

As a result of the meeting, the city, the RCMP, social agencies and the Downtown Vernon Association have vowed to keep communication lines open to ensure that the downtown core continues to be a safe place for everyone.

Information is available to merchants on community resources available for those on the street and strategies on managing potential risks.

Discussions will continue and that is absolutely necessary if these concerns about safety, whether they are real or are perceived, are addressed.

But critical to the process is that we, as a community, not lose a sense of compassion for our neighbours.


Just Posted

Vernon climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside company head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

Grindrod Garlic Festival delights fans

Hundreds pack Grindrod Park for annual event with heavenly aroma

Vernon’s Vest finishes top-two at third straight golf event

Teen phenom drops playoff at MLT Odlum Brown Classic in Surrey

Lumby pedalling toward bike park

Village and partners hope to create bike park on village property in near future

UPDATED: Power has returned in parts of Greater Vernon

Crews restore power to more than 5,000 customers after noon-hour outage

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Mistake-riddled offence leads to first loss for Okanagan Sun

The Sun lost to the Westshore Rebels 16-13

Most Read