Problems on Lewis Street are extreme

The problem is the accumulation of street people and junkies on Lewis Street

Problems on Lewis Street are extreme

Problems on Lewis Street are extreme

Recently articles have been written and stories spun about Lewis Street in North Cowichan. The editorials do not portray the reality of the situation on Lewis Street nor the ramifications for the people who live here.

The problem is the accumulation of street people and junkies on Lewis Street, encouraged by Warmland House, and the lack of any decisive action by the police or the Municipality of North Cowichan.

The drop in drug centre set up for junkies to shoot up was trashed by them and they came to hide and blend in with the homeless street people on Lewis Street. This situation endangered everyone using or living on Lewis Street and the apparent over usage of Warmland did not help the situation.

Sidewalks and the north side of our street are filled with tents, people and shacks. Great piles of old clothes and belongings are everywhere. Garbage abounds from food and human waste. Carts and wagons and bicycles and bicycle parts are everywhere.

People cannot walk down our street without having to go onto the road for people sitting on the sidewalk smoking up or shooting up. People have been threatened and harrassed by these people. We have had an infestation of rats from Warmland allowing the people to pile huge mounds of garbage bags and suitcases in their entrance courtyard. This garbage was, by the apparent recognition of this rat problem, ordered out by Warmland and overnight our street was again piled high with dirty junk.

On Tuesday, Oct. 29 the police and bylaw showed up with a garbage bin and a plan. I was told by Martin the head of the bylaw department for North Cowichan, whom I have talked to many times on this situation, that our troubles were over, that all the people and garbage would be gone by nightfall.

The police and bylaw took all grocery carts people were transporting their worldly possessions in and dumped their belongings on the street. The people took what they could carry and the rest went into the dumpster. Someone set it on fire and it was extinguished.

That night at five o’clock all police, bylaw and security people were gone and the people there still stayed and more retuned and a tent city was again. I personally watched overnight and saw the druggies doing their thing. Drug dealers selling and people shooting up and doing pot bought at the newly opened pot store with their welfare money. At night the parking lot behind our building was infiltrated with these people trying door handles on cars and looking into cars for saleable items.

The issue here is that the town is responsible for the safety of the people on Lewis Street and we pay tax for this service. The rats, threats and pillage of our property is secondary. The apartment buildings in our area hold close to 800 families and seniors do not feel safe and in fact are not safe on this street.

Students at nearby schools are told not to use Lewis Street to go to lunch at McDonald’s. Apartment buildings have had to add extra security strips to doors and one place replaced its fences with taller ones.

A bylaw officer I spoke to was wearing a bullet proof vest, as he put it, for his protection. Wow, what about the citizens here, are we chopped meat? Does our health, welfare and safety not matter to this council?

It has every appearance that the police and municipality are using the thousands of complaints from this area as a bartering point to get more money from the province. After paying taxes for our protections we hear this council authorize $20,000 for a joint effort of bylaw and police and rent for an office for them and of course an additional police officer on the payroll.

A month or so ago when this money was announced the street was cleaned out and it lasted 72 hours and it was again as normal, tent city. This proved this can be done anytime the council wants.

During this time all patrols of bylaw and police and security ceased at five o’clock and were nonexistent. On weekends from Friday at five till Monday at 10 a.m. it was open season on residents. A pronounced curfew for residents.

Another announcement of more money spent to hire a security company to protect businesses on the highway from the Silver Bridge to Beverly Street. Again what about the people on Lewis Street area?

This is a story often seen in the political arena and when asked, town officials and police allude to great things going on behind the scenes all of which are secret.

There is absolutely no communication with the public who are complaining their lives are in danger and their health and homes are at risk, NONE!

The articles in the paper have the appearance of being dictated by the municipality and do lip service to the situation only.

Let’s have some real an continuing action by the town 24/7 and let this action speak for itself!

Larry Woodruff

North Cowichan

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping for outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)
The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC

The bears are back in town so keep an eye out, reminds… Continue reading

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

Most Read