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EDITORIAL – Victoria Street West merchants are right to be concerned

(Image: CFJC Today)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

VICTORIA STREET WEST business owners are understandably concerned about a dramatic uptick in crime in recent months.

They report frequent break-ins, theft, vandalism, destruction of property, and discarded needles. After a year of reconstruction work on the street that made access to businesses a challenge, then the COVID-19 pandemic and now the crime problem, they’re struggling.

Mayor Ken Christian puts the onus on the businesses to upgrade their security systems.

The pandemic is blamed for some of the problem, with criminals being released early and panhandling opportunities reduced. The addition of the Rosethorn House supportive housing apartment is suspected as a contributor. Not the only cause, but part of it.

Victoria Street West is experiencing exactly the same issue as the Tranquille Road corridor did almost 20 years ago.

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Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

 

About Mel Rothenburger (7852 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – Victoria Street West merchants are right to be concerned

  1. Don Drysdale // June 5, 2020 at 9:12 AM // Reply

    So Mayor why bother paying taxes on your business and then have to fully fund and look after your own security. Isn’t a big part of taxes for policing. You and council want more housing and seem to careless about the effects of that housing on taxpayers. Build it and they will come and they have and will keep coming.

  2. John Noakes // June 3, 2020 at 8:39 PM // Reply

    Was there even a meeting, Mel?

  3. John Noakes // June 3, 2020 at 12:54 PM // Reply

    The Rosethorn House looks like a multi family construction project. Is that property zoned for a multi family dwelling?
    It might be interesting to have a look at the minutes of the rezoning meeting to see what input the business owners had given.
    Would they be available on line, Mel?

    • It does not matter about the minutes of the meeting John…around here It seems it is one tepid step forward and a leap back…

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