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When is Enough actually Enough?

by Laurie Nealin, Exchange District Resident

Last week in regards to derelict, privately-owned houses, the Mayor made this statement about “problem properties”: “… enough is enough. The people of these communities shouldn’t have to continue to put up with property owners who are delinquent and are just not caring for their properties.”


I totally agree with the Mayor, but his comment does beg the question: Aren’t he and other elected officials delinquent in ensuring that public properties – the city-owned urban riverbank forests and adjacent riverside parks in the Exchange, Point Douglas, Osborne Village, Assiniboine Ave and West Broadway – are properly cared for?  It seems that just like the owners of boarded-up, burned-out houses the Mayor and Councillors expect residents of city centre neighbourhoods to just put up with “problem (public) properties” that have become derelict as a result of their action- and enforcement-averse policies and indifference.

On this Mayor’s watch, city-owned riverbank forests and riverside parks in the heart of our city have become increasingly dangerous eyesores where fires are continuously set, users/sellers of illegal drugs congregate, and medical emergencies drain our health resources amid addiction, mental illness and violence -- all of which spills outward into the adjacent neighbourhood. It’s no different than the chaos wrought by the derelict houses the Mayor speaks of. Both delinquencies are disastrous when it comes to neighbourhood liveability.


Resident advocates have been telling the Mayor and Councillors “enough is enough” for about four years now only to be ignored by the very people we actually pay to ensure our City’s public properties are taken care of so they don’t become “problem properties.”


Given that, perhaps the Mayor should have ended his warning to fellow overseers of derelict properties with a caveat: Do as I say, not as I do.


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