“Drug subculture” responsible for arsons, weapons calls

Sault Police Services surrounding a home in the west end.

During the monthly Police Service Board Meeting, the increase in serious crime was attributed directly to the drug subculture in Sault Ste. Marie.

Police Chief Hugh Stevenson addressed those attending the meeting directly and bluntly when asked by Mayor Christian Provenzano about the cause of three fires due to arson and ten weapons related calls during the month of April.

“The reason and cause for those arsons, those weapon occurrences, is purely due to the drug industry that we have foremost. I can tell you that I don’t think one of these, ever investigated, had no ties to the criminal subculture, no ties to the opioid use in the city.” said Stevenson. “None of the 200 employees in the Police Service have ever seen the amount of gun violence in this city related to the drug sub-trade.”

He again placed a portion of the blame directly on the federal government’s Bill C-75.

“Bill C-75 has not helped us and I know you’ve heard me say it before. But on recognizances in the last 35 years of my career, if you are on your second or third recog you were kept in, you were not given the ability to continue your drug, your violent crime episode, that’s over,” said Stevenson. “People do not go to jail unless you’re arrested for the substantive offences, and they’re usually released. You’ve quoted me before on 33 releases, that one individual, that was originally a robbery. So you know we’re all pretty concerned, but different levels of government have to jump in and deal with this crisis.”

Mayor Provenzano addressed two issues with regards to the information provided by Stevenson.

“I think it’s important that the community knows that the police service is responding to that, and that the police service is out there addressing this, dealing with it, making the arrests. I think that it’s critical that the community knows from a community safety perspective, that Sault Ste. Marie Police Services are present and dealing with this,” said Provenzano.

He then took time to appreciate the difficult position officers are in.

“I want to acknowledge that April would have been a very stressful month for the service and for our officers. And working overtime in and of itself is taxing,” said Provenzano. ” I want to acknowledge the work of the police service in responding to these incidents. I know that we will keep on responding to them, and keep on making the arrests when we see criminal wrongdoing.”

He, as well as Stevenson, acknowledged that addictions are a public health issue and efforts need to be made, and are being made, to address that.

“So that people that need care, get care and there isn’t such a significant demand for the system that’s in place to supply people with the drugs they need. To satisfy their health issues and their addiction challenges.”

Stay with SaultOnline as we continue to bring you information about the ongoing issues around mental health and addictions in Sault Ste. Marie.


  1. The citizens have to speak up or laws will not get changed. Catch and release is a joke. The only people who are afraid of police are people who don’t commit crimes. If there is no punishment or consequences the pattern of behaviour will continue. Are the citizens willing to pay to have people incarcerated and accountable for their actions? I for one, am definitely ready. I am tired of seeing the same usual suspects on the police beat. Not only are these people not adding to society they are actually putting a drain on the resources of this small city. Rehabilitation after incarceration not instead of it. I challenge politicians locally and nationally to take that approach and you will see that the Canadian public is ready and willing to support a much tougher stance on crime.

  2. I have only this to say:
    If there is a crime in progress, or someone is trespassing to commit a crime, call the Police.
    Then have a seat and call any store and order a pizza… ask them to deliver it to your address.

    Just watch who get’s first to your place!

    Mr. Provenzano and Mr. Stevenson, if you have any doubts about what I wrote here, let me know so, I’ll identify myself, I’ll go to an interview and bring all the elements I have to demonstrate what I just said.

  3. Do you think the hard working cops, tongue in cheek, have any clue that there are two Mexican drug cartels operating in the Sault? Both the CDS, Cartel de Sinaloa and CJNG , Cartel Jalisco Nuevo Generation have massive control over the illegal drugs being sold. Most have no clue this is happening.

  4. Just had to confront one in the store no mask drinking chocolate milk. He said he was just browsing .I told him he had to leave without a mask . He told me to f off and threatened me as he slowly left the store. This happens almost daily, they come in and steal . I see them on the street showing each other what they’ve stolen from the neighbor hood it’s getting worse and they fear nothing.

  5. The judges need to stop feeling bad for them when they cry as soon as they get in court about the hard life they have had. Everyone has had a hard life. The crown also needs to stop making plea deals. Go to trial, make these people see that there are consequences to their actions. Its funny if someone took action against these people the crown would throw the book at that person yet cant be bothered to do their job against real criminals. The justice system is a joke and an embarrassment. I actually feel bad for the police having to arrest the same people knowing nothing will ever happen to them.

    • The bleeding heart politicians have created this with laws put together by activists who have trumpeted rehabilitation for decades.
      Some can’t be rehabilitated. They nay not be violent but they never stop stealing or any other criminal actions.
      The activists or others are rarely affected sk they don’t care. They never really have as the system they have designed is one that never sokvesctge problem that they earn their livelihood from. Funny that

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