Tuesdays are a big council day for me. The two standing committees that I'm on both meet on Tuesdays.
Protective Services is one of the two and although it usually only meets once a month it deals with lots of things that (I think) are important to having a well functioning city: RCMP, By-Law & Fire.
Today Karen Gariepy is bringing forward a recommendation to start a "Report a Drug House" program. The Edmonton police service is running an innovative program and our model is based in large part on that. Basically the idea is to give neighbours an avenue to pass on information about what's happening down their street. Then, the "officials" can use any tools at their disposal to address the problems. It could include By-Law, it could include Fire Inspections, or the Health Inspections ... Whatever is available to keep it from being easy to do business as a drug house.
They've faced a little criticism in Edmonton but achieved some amazing results in permanently shutting down drug houses and making neighbourhoods safer. That success why they have the support of the residents in the neighbourhoods.
I've lived near two different drug houses and the effect they have on your sense of safety (or lack there of) is huge. After one was shut down I had a chance to take a peek inside and it was pretty obvious that if a fire inspection, or public health inspection had been done it would have resulted in the place being condemned. That being the case I think putting those resources to work is totally appropriate.