Residents in Charlottetown neighbourhood shaken by murder meet on topic of drugs

Mitch MacDonald
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Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee, left, city councillor Melissa Hilton and Progressive Conservative MLA James Aylward walk to a meeting with residents of the Brows Lane neighbourhood that are concerned with drug activity in the area. The meeting, held in a private home, was closed to the local media. 

Mayor Clifford Lee stays silent on what residents told him during Brows Lane meeting sunday night

Charlottetown residents left shocked by last week's murder have banded together to tackle the issues of drugs, safety and security in the city.

Residents living close to the scene of last weekend's murder at 182 Brows Lane, as well as the mayor, two city councillors and at least one MLA, met at an undisclosed location Sunday night to discuss the incident.

However, exactly what was discussed in the closed meeting is still unclear.

Mayor Clifford Lee remained tight-lipped after the meeting and said he had been asked by residents not to comment on what was discussed.

"It wasn't my meeting and out of respect to the residents, that's my comment," said Lee. "I'll be honest, I regularly meet with groups of residents across the city. It was a meeting chaired by the residents."

While organizers also declined The Guardian's request to have a reporter sit in on the meeting, it was clear the discussion was spurred by last Friday's stabbing and that part of the conversation addressed a drug problem in the city.

A 17-year-old Charlottetown woman is in the midst of a first-degree murder trial after a 45-year-old man was stabbed to death July 11.

The incident shook up members of the community, although multiple sources told The Guardian that residents had previously raised issues to Charlottetown police about the apartment where the stabbing took place.

City police did not have a representative at Sunday's meeting.

Coun. Melissa Hilton, who represents the ward, was not able to be reached by The Guardian for a comment after the meeting.

Coun. Mitch Tweel, who has been vocal about the city's drug problem, was also invited by organizers.

Tweel also did not want to give specifics about the meeting but did point towards a drug problem and said it's an issue that's "consistent across the city."

"There is a greater awareness now. Residents are saying enough is enough we want our neighbourhoods back and (for them to be) safe and secure," said Tweel. "They pay big taxes and want that quality of life they had a number of years ago. You're talking about the health and vibrancy of neighbourhoods and communities, and they don't want it compromised in any way, shape or form."

Tweel said the next step will likely be additional meetings, as well as residents creating a plan of action to meet with various city officials.

"You've got to keep in mind the police department did a tremendous job with Operation Clean Sweep, however, we're right back to where we started," said Tweel, referencing a massive drug sting operation carried out January.

"Make no mistake, the community is not looking for words. They want action."

Mayoral candidate Philip Brown had also attended the meeting and credited residents for stepping up and taking action.

Brown said he felt the meeting could eventually lead to a neighbourhood association being formed in the community.

"Hopefully it will develop into something long-term with results . . . I fully support neighbourhood associations coming forward to keep neighbourhoods safe and secure," said Brown, who suggested Charlottetown adopt a policy similar to Halifax where start-up funds are given to associations.

"I was very proud to say that I was there to see this neighbourhood taking a big step forward."

Organizations: The Guardian

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Halifax

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Recent comments

  • w kennedy
    July 29, 2014 - 11:28

    The problem is most in my generation smoked weed this is not the problem. The young didn't understand "crack" and glue sniffing are a problem. Lumping them together as "drugs" is regressive. Anyone selling crack to young people should be treated like the cockroaches they are and in my mind this also includes the disinformation of lumping them together.

  • Opiates for the masses
    July 21, 2014 - 16:47

    Neighbourhood associations should help some. Anti-social behaviours breed when people are a collection of individuals with no connection to each other. People looking out for each other makes it harder to get away with things. But there needs to be a good hard look at why CPS didn't seem to respond to the neighbours' concerns about the place in question. Drugs are addictive, yes. But it does not follow that there is no cultural or moral dimension to this. When I was in high school there were a few kids doing drugs, but they sure didn't parade it. When I returned to the Island in 2010 I was appalled at now widespread --dare I say "normal"-- it was among high schoolers to do drugs. Something has fundamentally changed in how young people see themselves and the world around them. This business of insisting that nobody can make moral judgments about anything is part of the problem; it arbitrarily limits how we see the problem and look for solutions. Abusing your body is wrong. Selling drugs is wrong. And nobody is a moral relativist when it is their own ox being gored.

  • jacinta
    July 21, 2014 - 14:08

    Just wondering where my comments are, I know what drugs have been doing to this city. I have been following one individual charged in operation clean sweep with 4 counts of trafficking Sebastian Ayangma. I go to court every time there is a hearing. The problem is I am usually alone. If you want change, this is a good place to start.

  • enough already
    July 21, 2014 - 12:19

    I have never seen an official report of drugs of any kind been involved.

    • look closer
      July 21, 2014 - 13:23

      We have been murders,armed robberys' break and enetrs,shoplifting,thefts from cars,frauds..house invasions, you name to support addictions and or drug trafficking ..it ..this residence was raided last month..and you cannot see drugs involved..???.it's called willful blindness.80 % of all the criminal activity is caused by it ...

  • Aaron
    July 21, 2014 - 08:19

    The city doesn't have a drug problem. It has a poverty and education problem. Drugs are the symptom.

    • really?
      July 21, 2014 - 12:19

      poverty does not cause drug problems. Drugs cause poverty and crime. I can't figure out how other people afford these habits!

    • LA
      July 21, 2014 - 14:20

      Absolute baloney. Of the people I know who are addicted, a good portion come from supportive, stable homes and chose to blow off education in favour of drugs. It's not always someone else's fault. As for "enough already", you don't have to see an official report. The other residents have no doubt about it whatsoever.

    • Jen
      July 22, 2014 - 09:45

      If you think for once Education and Poverty is the reason why people do drugs, you can always go to school and you can always get a job and those who say you can't are not trying. Lack of education and poverty is caused by drugs. If just for once these people took each dollar and put it in to their education and did something with themselves they would not be under educated or in poverty. Take a good look Aaron and those who are on drugs have no jobs, most are uneducated or under educated and have nothing they lost families real friends and no money, and those who are not on drugs have good or decent jobs and a education. Take a long hard look at your comment. I am afraid to send my child to High School cause it seems like there is no such thing in High School anymore but for kids who just go and get HIGH!!!!! We need to get back to parents monitering what our children are doing and friends with and us as parents being more and more involved in our childrens lives. I can't believe that a parent who is completely involved in their kids lives can go saying that they did not know at all that their children were taking drugs and hard drugs at that. OPEN UP YOUR EYES PEOPLE.

    • Jen
      July 22, 2014 - 10:05

      If you think for once Education and Poverty is the reason why people do drugs, you can always go to school and you can always get a job and those who say you can't are not trying. Lack of education and poverty is caused by drugs. If just for once these people took each dollar and put it in to their education and did something with themselves they would not be under educated or in poverty. Take a good look Aaron and those who are on drugs have no jobs, most are uneducated or under educated and have nothing they lost families real friends and no money, and those who are not on drugs have good or decent jobs and a education. Take a long hard look at your comment. I am afraid to send my child to High School cause it seems like there is no such thing in High School anymore but for kids who just go and get HIGH!!!!! We need to get back to parents monitering what our children are doing and friends with and us as parents being more and more involved in our childrens lives. I can't believe that a parent who is completely involved in their kids lives can go saying that they did not know at all that their children were taking drugs and hard drugs at that. OPEN UP YOUR EYES PEOPLE.

  • Wow
    July 21, 2014 - 08:08

    Operation clean sweep was and is a joke. Over 1/2 that were caught, never even got sentenced in that bust. Their on the streets to this day, and will no doubt remain out, doing their thing once again. The courts need to step up

  • Annoyed Resident
    July 21, 2014 - 07:14

    Check with the Post office. The Correct address is 182 St. Peters Road. There never was nor is there now a 182 Brows Lane

    • Really??
      July 21, 2014 - 09:02

      @Annoyed Resident - REALLY???? THAT'S what you see as a big enough issue to write into the Guardian about??? Given the content of this article.......

    • @Annoyed Resident
      July 21, 2014 - 14:23

      Thank the dear lord that is all you have to worry about inthe world.

    • Unreal
      July 21, 2014 - 15:53

      To Annoyed Resident...good detective work. Thank God you cleared that up. The address being incorrect in this article is as relevent to the drug issue on PEI as the BOGOs at Sobeys this week. Thank you for helping fight the good fight.

  • Quiet Observer
    July 21, 2014 - 07:07

    The problem with operation Clean Sweep is it did not touch those bringing the drugs into the province and most of those who are distributors in Charlottetown. Within 24 hours of Clean Sweep pills were flooding the streets again. Until they stop the inflow into the province by backkus and others, nothing is going to change in terms of supply. And, until the province dedicates the money to the opiad addiction issue, nothing is going to change on the demand side either.

    • Joint Approach with policing issues
      July 21, 2014 - 13:17

      Ever wonder why the CPS is not doing more operations with the RCMP,this is a small place CPS may do the city, but it is aprovincial and national issue when drugs and it's related crimes affect us all...I know members of the CPS management and or City management avoid doing any joint operations with the RCMP.....are they afraid of Big Brother or what???.....buta combined approach is need whether it be a street in Stratford ,Cornwall,Charlottetown wherever your dealing with the same people and those that are up and coming....they spent money on a review of their police force..and they are falling back into their seige mentality again .The Mounties do it in every other jurisdiction.....why does CPS avoid it.......city residents deserve better.

  • RealityCheck
    July 21, 2014 - 06:16

    Addiction is a disease. Adequate treatment is not being provided on PEI. The situation here is much, much worse since Operation Clean Sweep. Children, yes, children, have gone from opiate abusers to injecting opiates during this time. That is the cost of doing nothing. Doug Currie, is that the legacy you want to leave PEI? We don't need another report...we need action. Under your watch, this problem grew expeditiously. As long as people continue to believe that drug addiction is a moral issue, instead of the disease that it has medically been proven to be, and that parents are somehow responsible or that it is the addict's choice, Currie gets off scott free. Oh, the money is still being spent in policing, courts, jails, social services and health care as families are destroyed, people resort to criminal activities, and hepatitis C continues to spread. Taxpayers, demand that money be spent where it is most effective... drying up the problem through treatment. Parents, demand better treatment for addiction in PEI. Otherwise accept the fact that murder and death from addictions is going to be part of life on PEI.

    • Opinion
      July 22, 2014 - 16:58

      IN MY OPINION I'm starting to tire a little of people blaming the government for all the addiction issues in PEI. Never is it enough that the police are enforcing the laws... never is it enough when an addict is jailed... never is it enough when the addict gets out of jail after getting a dry spell in the clink and goes right back. Help is only beneficial to those whom want it. As far as I'm concerned, addiction is NOT an excuse for ANYTHING. The choice was made to try the drug in the first place. Absolutely agreed that it destroys families, creates crime, and can most certainly lead to death. The government can spend a billion dollars on a "program" to help addicts but the sad, sad reality of it is that it's not going to make a difference. The slim percentage of those whom accept the help and work on sobriety will be vastly dwarfed by the percentage that have no interest in help. MY opinion

  • Billy P
    July 21, 2014 - 06:13

    I thought the residents asked to be tight lipped on this? Tweel and Brown rat them out! Election year!

    • Privacy was requested
      July 21, 2014 - 08:56

      Wasn't I thinking the same thing! I know if I were in their district, I certainly wouldn't be inviting them to any community meetings. I wonder if they would be so willing to share info if they were in office??

    • Ditto
      July 21, 2014 - 11:56

      My thoughts exactly. Those in attendance were asked by residents not to divulge information about the meeting. Mayor Lee an others respected that request while Philip Brown and Mitch Tweel couldn't resist getting a little media attention. I hope residents of this area and others take that into account when deciding who to invite to future meetings.

  • don
    July 21, 2014 - 06:02

    i ask my self as to why did the police not a officer at the meeting? and where was the liberal mla ? as i did not see one listed in the story. i guess the mla figured it was not important or the people did not want him. either way folks sadly this is only the start of what is to come. our quiet island is no longer.

    • Stop Don
      July 21, 2014 - 09:54

      Seriously don, give it up

    • @ Don
      July 21, 2014 - 12:11

      Don, maybe the police weren't invited to the meeting.