The discussion around the Stop the Violence BC campaign became heated on Monday

Dialogue in Nelson spurred by Stop the Violence BC motion

Nelson’s police chief sees the Stop the Violence BC campaign as a way to spark an important dialogue around the nation’s marijuana policies.

Nelson’s police chief sees the Stop the Violence BC campaign as a way to spark an important dialogue around the nation’s marijuana policies.

“What I feel comfortable saying now, is based on past experience proposals such as this one start a conversation,” said Nelson Police Department chief Wayne Holland. “They rejuvenate a debate that has been going on for decades.

“As a citizen and a police officer, I don’t really expect that this proposal or any other one that comes down the road is going to be 100 per cent the solution. But it might just come up with one or two strategies or fix one piece of it in benefit of our society.”

Stop the Violence BC campaign is an educational campaign introduced by a coalition of academics, past and present law enforcement members and the general public asking for a regulatory framework aimed at limiting use and starving organized crime.

A motion was brought before Nelson city council on Monday night asking for Mayor John Dooley to sign a letter in support of the campaign.

Dooley mentioned Holland — who was not present at Monday’s meeting — during what became an explosive expression of his disapproval of the motion.

“As a matter of fact, I have a report here from a police chief that outlines many of the holes that are in it. Our police chief. And it has not even gone by the police board yet,” Dooley said during the meeting.

The motion as presented by Councillor Donna Macdonald asked for Dooley to write a letter in support of the campaign, but could not be fulfilled without the mayor’s support. It was tabled for discussion until after the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in September and was passed.

Holland expressed empathy for the decision the municipality is facing around Stop the Violence and said there is room for growth and room to move forward “and I think that’s what this proposal is going to do.”

“When I look at the policy I can see some good objectives, but I can also see places where the policy will not perhaps do all it can in the public’s mind to ameliorate any danger to our youth or keep people inappropriately using the drug whether it be driving while under the influence or whether they are out in public or out in their personal lifestyle,” he said.

At the council meeting, Dooley also spoke about his concerns over how the marijuana trade has direct ties to the dealing of harder drugs like cocaine.

While Holland couldn’t speak specifically about cocaine in Nelson he said, “there is absolutely cocaine in our community. Whether that is the result of marijuana being exported and then it being brought back here… certainly that is suggested and that is what has been discovered through police projects over the past few decades. That shouldn’t come as surprise to anyone here. I don’t think this proposal is saying if we do what is proposed it will cure the organized crime problem.”

A main objective of the Stop the Violence BC is through regulation to “starve” organized crime.

“I don’t think any community large or small is of the firm belief that organized crime doesn’t touch them, even on a daily basis in communities such as Nelson or in other larger communities. It is everywhere,” he said. “I think that someone would have to be living in a cave to suggest that organized crime connected to marijuana isn’t thriving in this community.”

Holland will be meeting with the Nelson Police Board and provincial municipal police chiefs at the end of this month.

He expects the campaign to be part of the discussion.


Just Posted

Kootenay fires grow — more evacuation alerts

Syringa fire prompts evacuation alerts plus HWY 3 closure and U.S. fire crosses into B.C.

Evacuation alert for Syringa and Deer Park

The Syringa Creek Fire grew Saturday resulting in evacuation alerts.

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Smoke scraps MS Bike Challenge

The annual fundraising event cancelled its cycling Saturday because of poor air quality

Nelson’s mural festival: scenes from opening night

Crowds wandered the streets and alleys finding delightful surprises in unlikely places

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Most Read