RCMP busy since mill closure

Police resources strained since reports of domestic violence double.

Burns Lake RCMP concerned about a reported increase in calls for service since mill closure.

Earlier this month St. Sgt. Grant MacDonald of the Burns Lake RCMP detachment made a presentation to the Village of Burns Lake council that highlighted a 233 per cent increase in calls to respond to domestic violence since the closure of the Babine Forest Products mill. “Some of this is linked to the results of the displacement of workers from the Babine mill [fire],” says MacDonald.

‘Domestic violence’ covers a wide range of incidents. While the dramatic image of physical spousal abuse first comes to mind MacDonald cautions against sensationalizing the facts. “A lot of those calls were for interventions in verbal domestics. They could have been boyfriends and girlfriends or husbands and wives getting into verbal arguments.” In these situations there is no physical abuse.

The biggest spike in numbers involved arguments between youth and parents where youth are defined as any children living in their parent’s residence. “A lot of our homes in the Burns Lake area have youth in their early to mid-twenties still living at home,” says MacDonald.

Other media have reported that there’s been no increase in hospital visits in Burns Lake as the result of domestic violence, but a spokesperson for Northern Health was unable to confirm that unsourced report.

From a policing perspective this increase in calls creates a unique strain on local resources.  “When we get calls for domestic violence it requires a multiple member response”, says MacDonald. “Depending on what time of the day it is, we don’t have a lot of members on the street… so we may need to put other members on call or require them to be called in on overtime.”  This not only strains the budget but it affects the readiness of officers to respond to other incidents.

While MacDonald stresses how effectively all levels of government and First Nations have been working together to care for those that have lost their jobs as a result of the mill fire, he is concerned about the effect that the end of employment insurance benefits will have locally.  With unemployment benefits expected to begin running early in the new year, “we are anticipating a busy month of December through Christmas,” says MacDonald.

The recent announcement of the intention of Hampton Affiliates to rebuild the mill will not result in local employment until 2013 at the earliest in terms of construction employment, and the mill itself will likely not be ready to process timber until 2014.

 

Just Posted

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates react to finding Trudeau broke ethics law

The election campaign is heating up before the writ has even dropped

Parking lot rework effort begins

Work is well underway on the Downtown Parking Lot Redevelopment Plan, which… Continue reading

Day at the beach

People young and old flocked to Radley Beach to relax and cool… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Kraft Heinz brand baby food recalled in B.C. due to possibility of insects

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the product should not be consumed

First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thanked the feds

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

B.C. daycare operator denies negligence in death of ‘Baby Mac’

Infant died in early 2017 after biting an electrical cord, according to a lawsuit filed by his mom

BC SPCA reopens animal cruelty investigation at Abbotsford pig farm

Additional alleged footage released from Excelsior Hog Farm sparks new investigation

Donor upset no one noticed B.C. school’s sculpture had been missing for a year

Agassiz’s Fraser River Lodge owner baffled how theft went undetected

Most Read