Mixed Reviews For Program Dealing With Drug Houses

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 15:21



An investigator with a community watchdog group says northerners are providing them with steady information about houses suspected of harbouring criminal activity.


David Horn is a director with the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods program.


The provincial program started in 2005 with the main focus on the bigger cities, but has is since spread to rural and northern areas.


Horn says they field complaints from residents, and then send investigators out to corroborate the information.


They can then evict tenants or close down the building for three months.


Horn says the program has proven popular and those who administer it are open to expanding it to reserves — but he notes that requires individual reserves to adopt the SCAN legislation.


He says that process is currently underway on some reserves, but none of them are at the stage where it has been implemented.


Northern mayor Bobby Woods says the program has helped curb drug activity in his community of Buffalo Narrows.


However, he notes there are always those criminals who take advantage of the Charter of Rights, rendering the legislation ineffective when the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission becomes involved.


Woods also says residents who complain are also forced to identify themselves and tell investigators where they live.


He says that unnerves some people.


Woods also wishes the authorities could move quicker to shut down drug houses.


He says the investigators have to submit a lot of information before they’re actually able to evict tenants or close down buildings.