Recent History – 2001
Jan. 29, 2001
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
With the help of 80 signs posted around Dawson Creek and Pouce Coupe, local schools are being staked out as a drug free zone.
The signs designate a two-block radius around each school where anyone caught with even a small quantity of illegal drugs or narcotics within will be subject to a zero tolerance policy.
“The objective of the drug free zone area is to see if we can maximize the penalties with the co-operation of the justice system for those that are caught within the zone,” said Dawson Creek RCMP Const. Geri Demyen.
They’ll face penalties twice the norm and they won’t be able to get away with an unconditional discharge.
A ceremony acknowledging the start of the new rules was held Friday. Along with representatives of the groups behind the effort, some grade seven students from Central Middle School were on hand, and most were supportive of the tough new measures.
“It’s a great idea because if you’re outside doing something or playing with your friends, you’re not going to be pressured into something you don’t want to do,” said Katie Harris.
Michael Aven, meanwhile, said that drugs have no place in school and that the zones will “help a lot.”
Anja Mineault said there will be less peer pressure now. “If you’re around the school then you’re not getting pressured to do drugs,” she said.
Key to the campaign is making people aware of exactly what implications are for drug free zones. Over the next few weeks, a media blitz will be launched to get that message out.
Behind the effort are the school district, Dawson Creek RCMP, South Peace Crime Prevention Association, City of Dawson Creek, and The Sign Shop, who made a donation of signs for the effort.
“If it can keep one child off drugs, then it’s well, well worth it,” said Leo Offerson of The Sign Shop.