RCMP needs community help to stem drug crisis
By Carol Gordon
The regular meeting of the District of Invermere council was held on Tuesday, November 14 at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Office.
In attendance were: Mayor Gerry Taft and Councillors: Greg Anderson, Paul Denchuk and Al Miller.
Staff present were: Kindry Luyendyk, Corporate Officer and Rory Hromadnik, Director of Development Services.
Gallery: Two people.
PETITIONS AND DELEGATIONS
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Quarterly Update was presented by Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck See report.
A lengthy discussion between council and Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck followed his presentation.
Councillor Miller: “Last time you were here, we brought up the serious drug issues we have got in the valley. Since then we’ve had one young man pass away because of it. Just wondering, anything dealt with there?”
Sgt. Vatamaniuck responded: “I guess I am going to be a bit of a broken record in that we need participation from community members. We need to collaborate with community members. We need to partner with community members, those members of the community who have intimate knowledge of the transgressions of those people that deal this deadly drug.”
He added: “We’ve had two young people pass away in the Columbia Valley in the last 10 or 11 months. We don’t want to see anymore. It’s difficult for any police agency to mount any kind of enforcement action without the participation of the community. I’m always employing community members to come forward whether it’s through Crimestoppers, whether it’s through covert methods of providing crucial information. Any of those avenues we’re very open to collaborating with those community members. The unfortunate thing is when community members don’t come forward, these activities are done in the shadows of your community; these activities are done behind closed doors. In order for me to have any investigative enforcement action, I need to know when, where, how, who and without that information, it’s really difficult for me, it’s not impossible, but it’s very difficult for me to mount any kind of enforcement action. I need that collaborative participation from your constituents. There are a number of ways that can be done anonymously.”
Sgt. Vatamaniuck said: “The people of the Columbia Valley have always looked after ourselves. This epidemic is no different. We need to look after ourselves. We need to work with the RCMP on public safety. We need to protect our young people. We need to protect those with addiction issues. We need to really help our neighbour and the only way we can do that is if we do it collaboratively.”
Mayor Taft commented: “Probably one of the best news stories out of this whole situation is that it is being talked about publically compared to in the past it was very hush hush. I think in this case, because it’s part of an open dialogue, it’s being talked about province-wide and nationally and I think is helping.”
Sgt Vatamaniuck concluded: “It’s a society issue. It’s not an RCMP issue.”
BYLAWS & PUBLIC HEARING REPORTS:
Zoning and OCP Bylaw Amendments – Bob Nemeth, 1514-13 Avenue. Council approved, with Councillor Denchuk opposing, that Official Community Plan Bylaw Amendment 1530, 2017 and Zoning Bylaw Amendment 1531, 2017 be given third reading and adopted.
REPORTS REQUIRING ACTION:
Council 2018 Meeting Schedule was adopted.
“Each year, as per our Procedure Bylaw, Council must adopt the annual schedule of Regular Meetings of Council for public information purposes. Included in this report is also the tentative dates for the Committee of the Whole, the Quarterly Strategic Updates and Imagine Invermere.”
REPORTS FOR INFORMATION:
October Bylaw Report by Mark Topliff, Bylaw Enforcement Officer.
CORRESPONDENCE REQUIRING ACTION:
A Letter was received requesting the subsidizing of Ed & Sue Steele’s water bill for the Eileen Madson Primary School garden.
CORRESPONDENCE FOR INFORMATION:
Columbia Valley Arts Council 2017 Annual Report.
BC Senior Games Thank you letter.
Minister of Children and Family Development letter requesting to proclaim November “Adoption Awareness Month.”
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Letter on upcoming collective bargaining negotiations.
Citizens for Safe Technology Letter on microcell resolution & notice of wireless harm.
The next District of Invermere regular meeting of council is Tuesday, November 28 at 7 p.m.
The District of Invermere council meets regularly throughout the year on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month (second Tuesdays only during July, August and September) at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Office (914 – 8th Avenue, Invermere) unless otherwise indicated.