Slum landlords and criminals beware. City councillors have heard enough from the public and have given the go-ahead for a multi-disciplinary task force to crack down on problem properties.
“It does give me some comfort,” said Adam Millie who lives off Alberta ave. “I get the sense that council has received the message. I just haven’t necessarily seen that from the administration. I concur with the mayor that there needs to be significantly more aggressive enforcements.”
The city will act more quickly on complaints, and will provide an update to city council on tougher enforcement late this year.
“People need to be held accountable when they’re bringing this kind of disorder to neighborhoods,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “The city does have a role in that and I think the committee fully accepts that and made our expectations clear to city staff about prompt action when we have those kinds of concerns in the neighborhood.”
“We’re not going to go soft on this anymore,” city manager Linda Cochrane told council.
The report that went to council’s executive committee called on an additional coordinator to handle the task force. That wasn’t enough for the many who came to address city council. Casandra Baraba of the Grovenor Community League said there should be way more police involvement, so people who have a complaint can bring it forward with confidence that they’ll be protected.
“311 can never guarantee informer privilege,” Baraba said. “Only the police can guarantee confidentiality and that’s another reason we believe the police should be in charge of this.”
The report said the task force has 29 files open, however the suspicion is there could be in excess of 100 homes that are problematic.