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Thread: Cutting down trees will solve Nanaimo's drug problem

  1. #1
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    Default Cutting down trees will solve Nanaimo's drug problem

    Look at this picture I took downtown, and tell me if it could get any uglier:



    Of course it can! Just remove those trees in the middle! Well, that's exactly what's been done.

    It's one of two places downtown where trees have been removed recently. In both cases, it appears (I have no confirmation - only a strong belief) that the trees were cut to help prevent junkies/bums from hiding there. My "proof" is the fact that both places have been prominent hideouts over the years.

    (The other spot is just down the hill from Nob Hill Park, on your left as you descend that pathway down to Cavan St (behind the Cambie). The trees were above the parking lot there.)

    I wonder if either or both cases were private rather than City-initiated. Not sure if either piece of land is privately owned. Either way, it bugs me. Our downtown needs beautification, but we're cutting down the trees so the junkies will find a new hiding spot - downtown.
    Last edited by riverrat; 10-12-2007 at 12:31 AM.

  2. #2

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    It's sad to see trees cut down - I grew up in White Rock, and it was loaded with forest... now it's loaded with what I call "clone houses".

    It's also sad to learn there's a place called Nob Hill Park [see my other post].

  3. #3

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    Yeah, I've seen many a hooker/john stroll casually in behind those dumpsters as I'm driving out of the Wendy's drive-thru. Ew.

    Good question, I wonder if that was the city, or privately initiated? They're likely getting to their wits end on the whole "how to get the junkies to eff off" thing. Drastic times, drastic measures. Sad.

  4. #4
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    Hey Gerry,

    I got the real story on why they cut down the trees. My friend works at the firehall restaurant. They cut it down so people have more of a view outside the windows.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Nick!

    But, are you sure we're talking about the same trees? These ones were behind Wendy's, up above the dumpsters.

    I CAN see how these ones might affect the view from the restaurant (not that I give a whit for that reason, considering the percentage of people who would ever see that view from the restaurant, compared with the number of people whose everyday view is compromised by the cutting), but I suspect we ARE talking about different trees, especially as these ones pictured aren't near the firehall (and are therefore less likely to be owned by the same owners of the firehall property).

  6. #6
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    Those trees were cut for the same reason that all of the trees were cut along the railway property on Esplenade. Its an effort to keep the crackheads and homeless people out of private property.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dilligaf View Post
    ...its an effort to keep the crackheads and homeless people out of private property.
    Fer sure - but won't they just find other private property? Or is the tree-cutting happening simultaneous with a program that provides some acceptable public space for them?

    I think I'm barking up the wrong tree, though; dilligaf's mention of the railway property reminds me that all these trees being cut are probably simply on private land -- and who can blame the private person who prefers treelessness to human feces and sullen skeletons? I'd be out there with a chainsaw (for the trees) if it were my land.

    But can't our leaders think of an alternative? Must we open every nook and cranny downtown until there're no hiding places?
    I don't think that would work.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat View Post
    Fer sure - but won't they just find other private property? Or is the tree-cutting happening simultaneous with a program that provides some acceptable public space for them?
    What is acceptable public space for people who openly deal and use illegal drugs? What is acceptable public space for drug addicts and hookers? Owners of private property have an obligation to ensure their property is cared for and are liable for a whole lot of things that can happen there. Is it acceptable to expect them to not take measures to keep unwanted people off of their property?

    Should we as a society condone what happens every day on Victoria Rd? Should we provide acceptable space for those actions? I think not.

    Should we have better outreach and treatment programs for those who want out of that lifestyle? Absolutely, and yes I am prepared to pay more taxes to accomplish that.

    Should we have stronger penalties for those who prey on the addicts? Absolutely. The pushers should be going to jail. And for much longer terms.

    Should we have stronger laws to protect the average citizen from harassment? Absolutely.

    Hows that for a start?

  9. #9
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    Cutting down drug availability not trees seems to be a better solution to me. Maybe random drug sweeps (a la drug swat) in certain known areas could curb dealers setting up shop in treed areas. Have police raid areas in force randomly and pick up anyone and everyone in the areas habituated by users and dealers and shake them down a bit... see what falls.

  10. #10
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    undortunately it seems we have to do both (trees and availability)

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