Better Process Required For Controlling Grow Ops

By February 26, 2015Letters, Pop Voice

Dear Editor. As a concerned resident, I sense the recent Mayor Hawes recent interview on the 6:00pm news only seeks to exacerbate the unwelcome and undeserved bad reputation of Mission concerning pot grow-ops and while the one point, – fire department safety inspections and/or electrical inspections – are relevant most is a wasted photo op, at best.

The ongoing pot problem and homeless situation, draws many similar parallels to the two dilemmas insofar as many of the same players or levels of government make a mockery of knowledge needed or progress to remedy any anomalies.

Simply; the major issue dealing with homelessness is to find each homeless person a home, the safety and assurance of a place to sleep. Then, identify each segment involved and reason for being identified as homeless. Thus, any circumstances compounding the basic issue, such as: some are addicts requiring effective counselling and treatment, but this issue gets lumped into the discussion on homeless and exacerbates resolution and causes delay. Then, to exacerbate further some are mental illness cases, so that gets mixed into basic homeless issue. Then, you can add any additional known circumstances, like, the person likes to live outside, the person has a pet, but my point, rather than deal effectively each level of government compounds remedy by confusing the public, not acting in good faith or exuding a political will to identify issues and resolve.

The pot dilemma starts with a federal legislation and while most Canadians and already starting in other countries, to make pot legal per se, to regulate and tax, we find this government ideology prohibits progress and thus authorities and naive or inept municipal governments perpetuate making illegal and hence grow-ops become prevalent in some municipalities where lack of diligence may prevail, like Mission.

One misguided council adopted a PSIT Bylaw that was horrific and undemocratic, at best but argued the safety implications while seeking access to properties without warrant, exorbitant fines, under the guise of inspections and as the public know the new council abolished the bylaw but indiscriminately, thus wrongly removing some penalty clause pertaining to property remedy having charged occupants. The simple course of continuing an inspection service by the fire department for example, upon BC Hydro alert of excess use of power, may have identified illegal grow-ops for subsequent police intervention.

The pure foolishness of the complete process and inappropriate PSIT plan created insurmountable public bad reputation, largely exaggerated and harmful to real estate values and sales, aside from all the undemocratic thinking application, which may exist to this day.

But the parallel to homeless is the same governments are involved, now the federal government in its stupidity impose legal medical pot locations but seemingly fail to yield to municipalities who rightly ought to create zoning, impose inspections to building codes, commence fire department inspections all to ensure proper maintenance and safety is maintained, thus where is our MP representation accordingly? It follows, why hasn’t legislation provided for the single user to grow their own pot limited to personal use medical reasons. Indeed, even the social users to grow small amount would seem logical and reasonable.

But like the confusing debate about homeless and variables to exacerbate remedy to homeless we likewise witness variables thrown in and often intermingled in interviews and media reporting so as to keep the public confused.

Now, adding insult to injury we find a self-serving mayor wanting a few minutes of TV glory exacerbating the situation of the 6pm news. In part, borrowing the safety implications to fear-monger a bit but really a lot of hot air bafflegab. Granted, discussion in a no-win manner tends to defray talk away from other issues of possible developing moribund governance and inaction to remedy.

Whereas, the public do not need more bad publicity of no value, like the mayor’s pointless interview, that only exacerbate the bad reputation, largely underserved except by continued indiscriminate public discourse but it must prey heavily on discouraging people to move to Mission. As an aside, attending a forum in Burnaby we went to the hotel restaurant, as we entered the hostess remarked, “Where are you from”? We answered “Mission” only to have the hostess remark, “Oh, that is where all the drug problems and grow-ops are”, that’s Mission!

First, levels of government need to get the process in order and establish parameters or legislation. Then, all complaints of offensive practices should be reported to local police for investigation, not the local mayor who only talks irrelevancy.

Possibly our council may deliberate and seek guidance from provincial or federal governments that may permit an effective bylaw and less spreading of incomplete facts and bad press about Mission, then when an appropriate law is adopted make public in a positive manner how Mission met the challenge and is now free of grow-ops or other derogatory elements that detract from our good place to live.

George F. Evens

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