The recent controversy surrounding Coun. Kyle Sampson's statement is another nail in the coffin for Prince George.
The continuing degradation of the downtown and Prince George as a whole has been happening for decades. The taxpaying public have been pleading with city council, the City of Prince George and the RCMP to start cracking down on the behaviour that has cost us what was once a vibrant downtown driven by entertainment, dining, retail, and business.
Sampson was simply responding to complaints that started back in the eighties, and referred to those committing criminal acts as “losers.” As is the case with our new day and age, Sampson has been treated rather harshly on social media, in conversation, and in the pages of this publication.
Sampson's comments were directed towards criminals yet in the age of the 'Social Justice Warrior', it was easy for PG's usual suspects, to make it sound like he was directing his comments towards the homeless, the afflicted, and the addicted; he wasn't.
How can we as a city ask our council and our authorities to fix local crime, when a council member is attacked for verbally attacking criminals? Crime is wrong, it is not a socially acceptable action, yet in Prince George, attacking criminals with words becomes a worse crime than the crimes themselves.
One sad statistic is the lack of statistics. Talk to any RCMP member and they will tell you that much of what happens in PG never sees publication or is ever mentioned in the news. Crime has become so prolific in Prince George, that certain types of crime are no longer responded to by the RCMP as there simply isn't enough manpower. If they do act, the court system is so deluged with pending cases that many never see the inside of a courtroom or jail cell.
We want change. Business owners just want a fair shot at running their businesses but things have gotten so bad that the struggle for many has become impossible. As I have said in a previous letter, it is time to start helping the taxpayer in this town and stop allowing crime to continue.
Sampson should be commended for speaking the truth, not attacked. What hope does Prince George have, if a verbal attack against the criminal element is considered wrong? How can we ask the RCMP to react harshly to crime, if merely offending a criminal isn't allowed?