Community vents frustrations at meeting with councillor, police

Police can be seen addressing another issue in the area of Blucher and Albert Street in the fall of 2020 - Stock Photo, reader provided.

Last week, community members who live in the Albert Street, East and Blucher street area met with Councillor Luke Dufour and a representative of Sault Police Services at a resident’s home.

The community members wanted to share their collective frustrations in the local crime level, dropped needles and garbage which is plaguing their neighbourhood.

Community members traced it back to multiple homes in the area which are alleged to either be dealing drugs or are abandoned and being used as temporary housing for homeless.

“I don’t care how we are helping all of these bad people, I want someone to say, yes you are going through hell, and you don’t get that,” said one of the residents. “We’re the ones that get told, oh you know, we got a resource for them, we’ve opened a grocery store… I don’t care, I want to know how you are going to help us.”

Dufour advised that specific resident that, although it has taken almost a year, many of his issues have been rectified by city by-law, and he then spent time explaining why it took so long. He points to lack of by-law enforcement officers and a backlog in the legal department which is only going to get worse since these by-laws have been given more powers recently.

He believes much of the problem could have been rectified in a motion he put forward a few months ago, asking for more help in those departments.

“The by-law enforcement officer was $55,000 and adding to the legal department was going to cost around $120,000 to add another lawyer for the city,” said Dufour recalling the motion he put before council. The motion to hire these individuals was defeated.

Citizens were encouraged to reach out to all the councillors with their concerns about living in the core, as some of them are less affected by the issues than others, with the hopes votes may change in the future.

Those gathered thought the meeting was productive and hope to do it again in the future.

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  1. In my previous comment I forgot to mention Matthew Shoemaker. He is a good councilor and works so very hard, not only for his ward but the entire city.

  2. Bill, I don’t agree that all of Council should be replaced. There are some that truly have the interest of our city and it’s citizens in mind. Examples: Marchy Bruni, Paul Christian, Rick Niro and Matthew Scott. Staff has to be looked at very carefully also. The question there is, “Are they in a position that they are knowledgeable about or was nepotism a factor.

  3. .

    If those who judge have paid for work under the table that’s fraud. If you used the company card for dinner with your wife, fraud. What about declaring purchases at the border? Fixing a car price for less taxes maybe you’re a landlord accepting cash. Social workers taking donations and eating food meant for the homeless must be some sort of tax evasion too.

    No more government waste. Create opportunities and if you know of the above crimes, complain about those. Your property taxes will be much lower

  4. I would have to agree that Mr. Dufour has no shortage of excuses after seeing his response to a friend’s recent serious complaint, but he isn’t alone. He told my friend to call the police and deal with it themselves instead of working on their behalf to try and resolve the issue.
    City hall needs a deep cleansing, starting at the top.
    For some time now they have been spending far too many tax dollars without any public input or approval.
    For a city with such high taxes and power bills, why are they always on the edge of being broke, perhaps EXTREMELY POOR MANAGEMENT??
    When it comes to a variety of very important matters all they have is endless excuses why they can’t do anything about them.

  5. Wonder why Vezeau Allen wasn’t there instead of Dufour as she opened the grocery store on Gore. Ms Allen I think will have to step up to the plate in that area, and very soon. Ron…..

  6. “The by-law enforcement officer was $55,000 and adding to the legal department was going to cost around $120,000 to add another lawyer for the city,” said Dufour “

    But you guys will pay $400,000 for an empty field with no plan for it.

  7. I agree time for Luke Dufour to go he is a waste of time as is the whole city council. Time for a completely new council, once that earn a regular pay wage and know how to handle our money.

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