The Business Improvement Areas of BC, including Quesnel and Williams Lake, are calling on the province to provide financial support to address a property crime and vandalism epidemic.
Gilbert Schotel is the President of the Downtown Business Association.
“We’ve had this onslaught of different issues revolving around crime and safety that have brought increased costs to the businesses and we need help to stem this.”
Schotel says both the bigger organization and their local group need money.
“There are some where we’re looking for grant money to get better lighting downtown and other initiatives that we can do ourselves. Other stuff is really beyond the scope of the mandate of a business improvement association, and falls back on the municipalities, the province, and the federal government.”
Schotel acknowledges however, that there is only so much the city can do.
“The Quesnel Downtown Business Association, we’ve had a good relationship, and the City has been quite favourable in hearing our concerns, but it just comes down to there is only so much the city can do with the funding that they have.”
Schotel adds that the bad behavior downtown is by a small group of individuals within the community, and they are also advocating for changes to the justice system.