Oceanside News organized a Zoom forum which gave local candidates an opportunity to share their ideas and party platforms on a variety of issues relevant to the Parksville-Qualicum area. In this section the candidates shared their ideas on how to reduce the crime rate in our community.
John St John, Independent
St John said he is not sure if more policing is the answer, or if people are motivated by the need for money to support a drug addiction.
“I don’t know what’s happened in Parksville — the last two years, it seems to be worse than it’s ever been. I love this community and I hate to see it in this condition,” he said, adding he was aware of many businesses experiencing break-ins.
St John said his business was broken into twice, prompting him to buy an expensive alarm system.
Don Purdey, BC Conservative Party
Purdey said he wants to see harsher penalties for repeat criminal offenders.
“You cannot change some of these people. You give them an opportunity two or three times and if you can’t get them on board turning their life around, why waste your effort on them?” he said.
Adam Walker, BC NDP
Walker said his party will address crime in Parksville-Qualicum by working to reduce poverty in the community. He mentioned his house was broken into, though only minor things were taken.
“The damage that’s done to your psyche when something like this happens to you takes a long time to get over,” said Walker.
He said it was important to house people and provide mental health supports to prevent crimes such as break-ins.
Michelle Stilwell, BC Liberal Party
Stilwell said the cause of rising petty crime in Parksville-Qualicum is people looking for money to support an addiction. She said the BC Liberals would hire 200 more police officers across the province.
“Those increased resources will hopefully strike some of the street level disorder that we’re seeing,” said Stilwell.
She said she was concerned about an increase in aggravated assaults and assaults with a weapon in many B.C. communities.
Due to an unfortunate moderator error, Rob Lyon, BC Green Party candidate, did not have a chance to answer this question.