Kim Christie-Gallant says her west end Moncton neighborhood is like a small town where everyone knows each other, but she doesn’t like what she’s seen lately.
She’s concerned about the rise in theft, break and enters and drug use among the city’s homeless population and has started a petition called “Make Moncton Safe Again.”
Christie-Gallant says many of her neighbors would love to go downtown for supper or a show.
“But they don’t feel safe parking their car down there at night,” she says. “They don’t feel safe walking the streets. Seniors in the neighborhood that go for walks in the morning have had their paths passed by people openly intoxicated, on drugs. Everybody is scared for their safety.”
Trevor Goodwin is the senior director of outreach services for the YMCA and has worked with Moncton’s homeless population for years. He said Christie-Gallant has some legitimate concerns, but he does not think the homeless are a threat.
“I think she’s entitled to be afraid, to be cautious, or to be weary,” said Goodwin. “There are people who are used to working with this kind of population and interacting with them daily, people like myself. But for the general public, it’s not in their wheelhouse.”
Christie-Gallant made a presentation to Moncton city council last week and two town halls are scheduled for later this month.
“We need more policing. We need more visibility of policing. We need when people call to report a crime, we need immediate reaction,” said Christie-Gallant.
A spokesperson for the RCMP told CTV News they take citizen’s concerns seriously and are working with city stakeholders to find solutions to the Moncton’s homeless, addiction and mental health issues.