Pubdate: Fri, 24 Oct 2003
Source: Prince Rupert Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Sterling Newspapers Ltd.
Author: Pavlina Napastiuk


Big city problems aren't just big city problems any more.

Councilor Kathy Bedard says drugs and prostitution issues are just as 
relevant here as they are on the streets of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

"There are [drugs] on the school grounds," said Bedard. "It's affecting 
children one way or another, whether they're using them themselves or their 
parents are using them."

And this is why Bedard has decided to renew interest in the Communities 
Against Drugs.

She admits the volunteer organization has been dormant for a while because 
many of its originally members have either left town or just don't have 
enough time.

But a re-organizational meeting will be held Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at the 
Hecate Strait Employment Development Office.

"My self and Brian Kangas are the only two original members left," she added.

The rest have moved to place like Powell River and Prince George.

However, Bedard says there is still need for the organization,one whose 
purpose is to mobilize the community to get involved, whether it be through 
volunteering, or attending information session.

She says in past years she's brought police officers up from Vancouver to 
speak on issues of drugs and violence.

"We even had the Odd Squad, the officers who made that documentary, Thin 
Blue Line,'" said Bedard.

She says it is also the mandate of the group to consult with parent 
advisory committees and the school district.

Other communities are expressing interest in a similar program.

"There has also been interest expressed outside of the community to use the 
philosophy of CAD," Bedard said in a recent press release.

There will be RCMP presence at Tuesdays CAD meeting, says PRince Rupert 
RCMP staff sergeant Rob Bell.

He agreed the drug problem in Prince Rupert is definitely large enough to 
warrant police attention.

"We do have street problems here," said Bell. But for the size of the 
community that's to be expected.

"There is a marijuana usage problem that's widespread and there's certainly 
cocaine usage and heroine usage."
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