OUR VIEW: Misplaced priorities?

We say: Tagging is bad, yes, but there are more pressing issues

City councillors are all up in arms about the amount of tagging or grafitti being spray painted on buildings around the community.

While, we acknowledge that it is a crime and does damage public and private property, forcing owners and taxpayers to pay prohibitive clean up costs, we have to wonder why this much attention isn’t paid to more pressing issues. On this page, editor Alistair Taylor writes about the disturbing number of fatal beatings that have happened in our community and across Vancouver Island.

Previous city councils took a lot of criticism for a lack of action on homelessness in the community and since then there has been a multi-pronged approach on providing services, particularly on an emergency basis, to the city’s homeless. This represents an admirable response from the city and other agencies to a call to arms on a serious social issue. It would be nice to see the same response on other issues. The previous council heard last July from Dr. Charmaine Enns, the North Island’s medical health officer, who painted a bleak picture that showed Campbell River is above average in all the wrong categories but, in particular, the well-being of our children. She said the statistics show that a lot of our children are struggling from a young age.

“Campbell River children rate lower for standards of reading and writing to their counterparts in B.C. and the rest of the Island and the Campbell River area has a high rate of kids in need of care,” said Enns, noting that in Campbell River, 23 children per 1,000 kids require protection compared to 12 per 1,000 kids in the rest of B.C. Campbell River kids are also more vulnerable to physical disability compared to their counterparts in B.C.

So, forgive us if we don’t get too hot under the collar about grafitti like our city councillors but we would like to see this much energy – and money –applied to some more pressing issues.