Bar Watch Program coming to Ladysmith

Ladysmith will be getting a Bar Watch Program to increase safety in pubs and bars.

Ladysmith will be getting a Bar Watch Program to increase safety in pubs and bars.

Council voted Nov. 3 to endorse the Town’s participation in the implementation of the Ladysmith Bar Watch Program, in conjunction with the Ladysmith RCMP Detachment and local liquor-primary establishments.

Council has expressed an interested in establishing a Bar Watch Program in Ladysmith in the past, and the Ladysmith RCMP has recently come forward and requested that council consider establishing such a program as soon as possible, corporate services director Sandy Bowden explained in her report to council.

There’s been a Bar Watch Program in Nanaimo since 2007, and the program is modelled after a program initially established in the United Kingdom and subsequently in Vancouver. In Vancouver, each participating establishment is required to install a video camera (CCTV) at its entrance, alongside Bar Watch signs. Vancouver’s Bar Watch Program is governed by a non-profit Bar Watch Society. Bowden explained to council that this society meets monthly, and these meetings are attended by representatives of the Vancouver Police Department, as well as provincial liquor licence inspectors, representatives of the city’s fire department and other city divisions.

Each participating establishment in Vancouver’s Bar Watch Program pays annual dues of $1,000 to cover legal fees, sponsorship commitments and administration fees. As well, participating establishments must sign a Bar Watch Agreement, explained Bowden.

Bowden says it is unknown at this time the extent of the financial implications associated with the Ladysmith Bar Watch Program, but staff will discuss it with the RCMP, and if deemed appropriate, will establish an annual amount to be paid by program participants to cover legal fees, sponsorship commitments and administration fees.

Councillors were in full support.

“We looked at this some time ago, a number of years ago, and at the time, the detachment was looking to make it a regional program,” noted Coun. Gord Horth. “We’ve had a recommendation from our local detachment commander to implement this, and with good reason, so I firmly support this one.”

Coun. Jillian Dashwood was “totally in support” of the program, especially with three new establishments opening in town.

“I think it’s really important that we start working towards these goals and making sure we have safety in our community,” she said.

Mayor Rob Hutchins noted that this is just the beginning of the process, and there are still questions that need to be answered. While the original approach was to include all the pubs within the Ladysmith detachment area, including Timberlands Pub for example, this approach is just for the town because this is not applicable to rural area liquor establishments, he explained.

From here, staff will schedule a meeting with the RCMP to determine next steps in the process. Bowden anticipates that local liquor-primary establishments will be advised of the program and requested to participate.

***

At the same council meeting, Coun. Jillian Dashwood, on behalf of the Social Planning Cowichan homelessness committee, asked if the Town could look into providing showers to homeless people.

She asked if the Town could, through the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association, issue passes to the Frank Jameson Community Centre so that people who don’t have a place to shower could use the showers there. She is also going to approach the Ladysmith Maritime Society about providing shower access.

“This is giving an opportunity for people who don’t have a home to be clean,” she said.

Council was supportive of asking staff to look into how this could be done and come back to council with a recommendation.

***

The Nov. 3 meeting was Coun. Glenda Patterson’s penultimate meeting, as she did not seek re-election on Nov. 15. She shared a few words with council, reflecting on the 15 years in total that she spent in the council chambers.

“I’m stepping down for personal reasons and medical reasons,” she said. “There were times when I felt like it was a boys’ club, but we must remember: behind every successful man, there is a good woman. I’m truly proud of having served Ladysmith and its citizens. It has been a learning and a rewarding experience. I wish all the candidates good luck, and I will miss you. Thanks for the memories.”

 

Just Posted

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley was passed up for a cabinet position by Premier John Horgan. (Photo submitted)
Op-Ed: Modernizing forestry and prioritizing reconciliation

Doug Routley writes on Fairy Creek and Central Walbran Valley old growth deferrals

The log retaining wall that supports the access road to the Ladysmith Community Marina is failing and needs to be replaced. (Cole Schisler photo)
Remediation work for community marina access road expected to be costly

A log retaining wall between the access road and the parking area is failing and must be replaced

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Ladysmith Harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water harbour, none of them threatening

More and more graffiti has appeared in Ladysmith’s downtown core during the pandemic. (Cole Schisler photo)
Council creates rebate program to encourage graffiti clean up

Property owners can receive up to $50 to help fund graffiti removal

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read