LETTERS

Mr Jay Hill MP

Federal Member of Parliament Prince George-Peace River

8612-100 Avenue, Fort. St. John, BC. Vii 1X1

01/24/06

Dear Mr. Hill,

I am writing this letter to request your support in a campaign of change. Our issue is the continued operation of drug houses, marijuana grow operations and the apparent impunity with which known

drug dealers continue selling their product within our communities.

As you know, one of the most significant roles of school districts is to provide safe and secure learning environments for our children. That allows them to develop in many ways toward becoming contributing citizens. This role is becoming increasingly difficult to fulfill with drug houses and dealers establishing their operations adjacent to, or within a short distance from school property. Moreover, the highly addictive nature of current drugs, such as crystal methamphetamine, exacerbates the challenges facing our youth, our schools, and indeed our nation. We must rethink our legal practices and have the political and social will to forestall the drug related activities that all of our children are witness to. New strategies are needed to intervene in the growing number of addicted youth. These youth face years of debilitation and lost productivity as they pursue their need for drugs. Many become burdens to their communities as well as the health care and justice systems as the result of their addictions.

Additionally, our Board is seriously concerned by the apathy and complacency that is developing in our communities. As these drug operations continue to ?do business? with impunity, public perception is that there is an inability on the part of the justice system to remove these obvious risks to the safety and well being of our children. When we consider overall risks to national security, we believe the operation of drug houses, drug labs, grow operations, and drug dealers, represent significantly greater ?threat to the security of our nation? than the risks from outside our national borders.

Edmund Burke said, The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.? Mr. Hill, it is frightening to each of us as parents and as School District No. 59 trustees to live in a community where most children above the age of 12 could report the location of at least 1 drug house. In Dawson Creek, a -popular drug house bordering on the property of our secondary school continued to host drug sales for years. Despite the efforts of the RCMP, and numerous anti-drug education programs, a steady stream of citizens and students continued to frequent the location. What is wrong with Canadian legal structures, that permits such illegal practices to occur undaunted? Is the loss of safe, secure communities the price we all pay in the interest of protecting the constitutional rights of criminals? If this is a question about the rights of the criminals, then who is standing guard for the rights of our children. Law-abiding citizens want their children to grow up in safe communities free from the influences of those who sell drugs and operate drug establishments. Very simply, the current practices are not producing results that will reduce drug related activities.

In short, we need effective action to be taken. The Board of School Trustees for School District No. 59 is requesting that you propose and support a review, by Canada?s Minister of Public Safety, together with the Minister of Justice and Attomey General for Canada. This review will identify the barriers and result in remedies that will facilitate the prosecution and incarceration of those in the illegal drug trade. It is apparcnt that the penalties are insufficient, and the strategies are ineffective deterrents to these criminals. Our hope is that this review will result in mandatory penalties for those who would sell drugs to children or near facilities where children frequent.

This matter is of such significance to the children of our nation, that we encourage the leadership in all school districts in the nation to write letters to their Members) of Parliament with a similar request for action.

Judy Clavier/Board Chair School District No.59 (Peace River South)

copy: Mr. Blair Lekstrom MLA BC School Trustees Association The Honourable Steven Harper, Prime Minister Elect The Honourable Paul Martin