THUNDER BAY – Larry Hebert is currently a Councillor at Large and is seeking re-election.
Here are his answers to the questions on crime:
Question: Thunder Bay has formed a Crime Prevention Council, how long will it take before that Council meets, and how long afterward to implement its recommendations?
Answer: The Crime Prevention Council has been established but there are no names attached to it yet just suggestions as to where the membership should come from so I do not see it making any substantive recommendations for at least a year and it will evolve as an ongoing work-in-progress.
Question: Over the past year, some on Council along with the Police Services Board have suggested the crime rates are not as bad as they looked.
What is your reaction to Thunder Bay being listed 23rd most dangerous city?
Answer: Frankly it does not matter what the statistics say, it is people’s perceptions of the crime/security issue that matters and right now people in Thunder Bay believe crime is out of control and they fear for their safety or that of their children or grandchildren. Many seniors I talk to are very afraid.
Crime is not race based but behaviour based and results from the breakdown of family units, drug and alcohol addictions, gambling problems lack of a job or a decent paying job and likely many more causes. The reason I made the comment about race is that many feel that First Nation people are causing all the crime. No question they are part of the problem but it certainly is not exclusively theirs.
We have to ensure people are educated and have fundamentals like food and housing. If I had to feed my kids and had no other means I could see myself committing a crime to get them food. Police end up dealing with the results of all these societal issues.
One final comment about crime is that I get concerned when statements are made by the
Police and others that the public does not have to worry after another homicide is reported because the assailant and the victim knew each other so it was not a random act. But what if you were an innocent citizen in the proximity of a homicide and you saw it happen, I would think you might be in some danger as well.
Question: The CEDC and Thunder Bay Tourism are working very hard to build our brand as a great place to work, visit and live.
Do you feel that Macleans Magazine’s article can harm those efforts?
Answer: Finally, I think the MacLeans story does hurt the good work that organizations like the CEDC and Tourism Thunder Bay and others are doing to try and promote Thunder Bay as a great and safe place to live.