Arson and robbery at Walmart

John in the Walmart parking lot with security fencing already installed.

CAMPBELL RIVER: Tougher actions by all levels of government in B.C., against the growing use of illegal injection drugs are being called for by a Conservative candidate in the North Island constituency.

“It’s becoming all too obvious that serious problems are arising from the increasing use of addictive drugs in Campbell River, the North Island and indeed province-wide,” said candidate John Twigg on Monday.

“The latest travesty appears to be the recent arson fire in the Campbell River outlet of Walmart,” said Twigg, noting news reports indicate the incident involved the starting of a fire with an accelerant in the store’s toilet paper display apparently as a distraction to enable a theft from another area of the store.

“While local police have not revealed what was stolen or attempted to have been stolen they did describe it as a serious matter and that suggests it was of something other than some electronics or hardware items which means the target of the theft probably was narcotic drugs from the store’s pharmacy department,” said Twigg, noting the store is located near several homeless camps that often involve people with serious addictions to hard drugs.

“This is not the first time we have seen crimes in Campbell River that appear to be drug-related,” said Twigg, citing a recent incident in which a young man was set afire while sleeping under a bridge only a few blocks away from the Walmart store which he said was probably related to something like an unpaid drug debt.

“Campbell River has generally been a well-policed and civil community but in recent years it like many other communities in B.C. has been struggling to cope with a growing incidence of drug-related property crimes, which is something all three levels of government have been failing to prevent or even try to control,” said Twigg, a veteran independent journalist who carefully follows trends in the news.

“I have personally seen several incidents of open use of injection drugs in the alley behind Campbell River’s London Drugs store and I know from talking with employees of nearby stores that it is a growing problem there as well as in several other areas of the city,” said Twigg, a 71-year-old veteran of politics and media in B.C.

“Providing free safe substitutes for narcotics to addicts is merely a humane harm-reduction strategy but it is not a real and permanent solution like truly curtailing the activities of drug dealers working for organized crime gangs,” said Twigg, noting the B.C. Conservatives are the only party in the current B.C. election campaign who are willing to address this problem.

“Our police forces are doing what they can against the illegal drug trade but they are not getting adequate support from any level of government and that is doing serious harm to our economy and society, especially in places like Vancouver and Victoria,” said Twigg, noting such rampant drug crimes lower property values, increase insurance costs and harm innocent citizens.

“The closure of the local Walmart store due to extensive smoke damage will impose some hardships on the store’s many regular customers such as having to pay higher prices for groceries in other stores but the New Democrat, Liberal and Green parties so far appear unconcerned about such real-life problems and instead are fixated on things like resource industry issues, climate posturing and gender quotas.

“Those are legitimate issues but they shouldn’t be allowed to obscure more urgent concerns like the huge growth of dysfunctional homeless camps that are being allowed to grow all around the province by politicians too weak to face reality,” said Twigg.

“In this election we need the political parties and their leaders to focus on the real problems facing our communities and families now such as by adopting tougher measures and spending more tax money to combat organized crime instead of trying to focus debates on symbolic causes like climate change and sexual issues and so far the only party doing that is the B.C. Conservatives led by Trevor Bolin,” he concluded.

“While Premier Horgan is happy to set a symbolic climate goal for 30 years hence in order to make a cheap headline he and his colleagues in the NDP and in other parties seem unable or unwilling to try to address real serious problems that need actions within 30 days.”

For further information contact:
John Twigg, candidate
North Island
Cell: 778.348.0747