The City of Terrace has declared its downtown in crisis after discussions regarding homelessness, mental health, and addictions.
According to Mayor Carol Leclerc, the issues have been going on for a number of years and are escalating.
She added businesses are regularly dealing with discarded needles, feces and staff do not feel safe.
Leclerc said business owners are also dealing with thefts where the culprit gets arrested and released then comes back the next day.
“We had an incident very recently where somebody came into a store and they removed products and opened up the products and poured them on the floors and on the shelves, they started licking things and locked themselves into the bathroom,” she said.
Leclerc added council has heard concerns from residents that they do not like going into the downtown core.
She also said it seems like the civility within the downtown core is vanishing.
“Our small businesses, our medium businesses rely on customers coming into the downtown so, it’s a vicious circle if we can’t bring people into the downtown our businesses are not going to be successful and we all within the Northwest rely on the businesses here in Terrace,” said Leclerc.
A town hall is expected to be held later this summer regarding the challenges downtown.
A PG group called Together We Stand believes the proposed Safe Streets bylaw will continue to punish our homeless population.
– with files from Lindsay Newman, My Bulkley Lakes Now staff