On Thursday, April 27, at noon there will be public safety rallies in several cities throughout British Columbia including Penticton.
The Enough is Enough rally is being held at Riverside Drive with the focus on getting higher levels of government to declare a public safety emergency.
“Despite the talk and commitments by our senior governments, the converging social crises facing the province continue to escalate. We now have a housing and affordability crisis, a mental health and addictions crisis, and a judicial system crisis which have combined to result in a public safety emergency,” said Collen Middleton, president of Nanaimo Area Public Safety Association organizing the rallies.
“We demand that our provincial and federal governments declare a Public Safety Emergency immediately,” he added.
Participating cities include Victoria, Surrey, Nanaimo, Kamloops, Prince George, Dawson Creek, Penticton, and Cranbrook.
“The deadly and life/livelihood-threatening incidents continue to pile up across the province at an alarming rate. Enough is enough,” said Middleton.
It was July 2022, when around 200 people showed up at Gyro Park in downtown Penticton to protest for action on what they say is the out-of-control crime element taking over the city.
“Let’s work together to make our streets clean again. This is our Penticton,” said protest organizer Jason Reynen at that rally, who also helped form the Facebook group Clean Streets Penticton. Reynen also ran for mayor on a platform of making Penticton safe. He came close to winning the mayor’s seat.
Since that protest, the new city council has made public safety their number one priority including creating the Public Safety bylaw that is currently being reviewed right now. They also hired more police officers and increased bylaw services hours and staffing.
The proposed bylaw, if approved, will give bylaw officers more power to intervene in public safety issues.
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