Talk is cheap, action is needed now on city’s fentanyl crisis

Opinion Aug 02, 2017 03:29 Cambridge Times

What a difference a day makes for our mayor. A complete reversal from what I was told, and Dr. Hank Nykamp’s comments as well (must be an election year).

A little over a year ago I took a syringe (injection needle) inside a water bottle into city hall and placed it on the counter. I told them I found it a block away from the Bridges.

Days later I found another again, near a children’s centre on the sidewalk, and contacted the city to please come and pick it up. They did.

I was told to contact the region for further needle findings — “not our job” I was told.

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I found a total of 15 of the 567,000 free needles issued by Region of Waterloo. Thousands of needles are in our parks, on our trails and around local businesses and have been for some time.

Then there is the issues of relieving themselves in public areas and passing out on private property. People in Cambridge should be up in arms over what I’m about to say.

It seems the region has saved the City of Waterloo from drug-related outlets, crash sites and problem areas, etc., by taking on higher taxes so they can dump the drug problems and people onto Cambridge’s lap.

To our regional council members … tell us the truth; fill us in! Now, Mayor Doug Craig is about to switch into his John Wayne outfit to clean up Dodge. What a public relations election opportunity.

This should have been done long ago when issues were brought forward by media, businesses and the public. I can’t believe our mayor knew nothing long ago about all the deaths and numerous times a day ambulances and police sirens go through downtown.

Did I hear him say on the radio that “we don’t have a problem”?

Perhaps city manager Gary Dyke should speak to some of the street people to find out why they came to be in Cambridge and from where they came.

I found more than 90 per cent are not from here, and we have all the freebies via the taxpayer. What have you done as city manager about all the complaints, sir?

We are on social media and the internet as an easy handout city. If you need food, shelter, clothes, drugs or a couple hundred bucks extra a day,  go stand on the Delta medians and … God bless you (my dealer thanks you), we even give out motel rooms.

Dr. Hank Nykamp is bang on in the Times July 27 when he stated “Cambridge is becoming the drug capital of Ontario” and he’s tired of the political inaction.

Mayor, you knew of this problem long ago and were silent (see election year).

Thank goodness council member Jan Liggett has been pushing for action for about a year now.

A word of advice Doug; to get a needle you have to hand one back in.

Step up to the plate sir, and tell Waterloo to take their share of the people and problems that are being sent into Cambridge.

The Bridges is not perfect, but is trying to do good things and I support their efforts.

They seem to have several out of control issues. The monetary cost for us here is staggering, for ambulances, police, paramedics, counseling, the food bank, the hospital, businesses, thefts, security and public perception of Cambridge in other cities and visitors that come here.

I hope our mayor shows the same kind of speed to resolve this as he did to silence the public during council meetings.

Talk is cheap Doug, so please do something soon because we’re burning daylight.

Thomas Vann


Editor’s note: The needle exchange program is run by Region of Waterloo, though Mayor Doug Craig does sit on regional council. In response to Dr. Nykamp’s comments, Craig said establishing a fentanyl crisis task force was already in the works.



27 Responses to Talk is cheap, action is needed now on city’s fentanyl crisis

  1. Debbie Duff Vitez August 2, 2017 at 9:28 pm


    Tom Vann August 2, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Thanks Deb. I am grateful the Times put my words to paper. I have done loads of research on this and spoken to many. Shoot them, let them die, bomb the buildings, kill them off and hang them has been said by some I spoke with. This is not the path. I believe a dry out center is needed to take them off the street and protect them. Needle return program a must.

    Not our problem!!!! Now the big flip flop by our leaders and the foolish Frank comments are in denial.

    Donna will soon be writing something I figure to protect Doug.

    Look for several puppets to write in as well. I see it, I am right there I confront them.

    Where the heck has Frank, Doug and Dyke been for over a year?

    Time for the big buck city manager Dyke to get some stones and solve the cancer in this town now.

      Gary Worton August 4, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      It’s time for Dyke to either shape up, or ship out!

  3. Debbie Duff Vitez August 2, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    You do know Dyck was handpicked by Craig?.. asking him to grow a pair is not on his agenda..
    He values his big pay cheques too much, to ever care about anyone or anything unless his master requests it..

    alan marshall August 3, 2017 at 7:18 am

    I believe you’re on the right track Tommy. That said drug addiction is the addiction that makes all the others look like child’s play. Whether alcohol, smoking, food or whatever; drug addiction is the one that can turn a decent person rotten. Their only meaning and purpose becomes their next hit (O.K. not MJ ). As for a dry out centre you are probably right although I believe their success rate is low.

    RK August 3, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Wow..I am so glad that the Cambridge Times has chosen to have this Letter to the Editor published in the paper. It’s about time this City becomes aware of just what goes on down at City Hall..
    KUDOS to you TOM VANN!!!
    I wonder how many of Craig’s MINIONS will write a letter to defend all the WORMS AND SNAKES downtown

    bozo August 3, 2017 at 10:03 am

    no needle exchange program in place?
    why not
    give one get one
    city employees are endangering themselves picking them up
    handing out box full of free needles only helps one person
    the dealer
    if not from this region
    no free passes
    go back home

    Brian Hafner August 3, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    As a business person I see this downtown on a daily basis. City Hall has taken far too long to act and Vann is correct. This letter is going on my wall. To deny we have a problem as one council member stated is false news and a lie. Terrible representation. I feel the Mayor has his work cut out for him. So far it looks like he has tripped face 1st at the starting line. The Regional chair needs to be called out on the Waterloo issue as this is just not right. Sending problems here is in bad taste.
    Then again, “there is no problem here” right?

    Greg P. August 3, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    This letter is just the beginning. Frank Monterio spoke for more police, typical response from a deadbeat. Solutions Frank not band aids. When this guy sides with our Mayor, you know something is up. Trusting Monterio is usually a dead end street.

      Gary Worton August 4, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      It’s all about the money, money, money, as the lyrics go!

    Tom Vann August 3, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks folks. You know you hit a nerve in this town when people call your house to say good letter. Doug has a real problem that I see not getting solved. He may give up and say it’s solved but look for our leaders to say we have done all we can and move on. You can take this to the bank. I met a nice lady again at city hall the other day. She will understand when I write this next bit. Tar and feather all, shoot to destroy, bomb the trenches, hang ’em high, Loading up all weapons to prepare for D-Day. They will never take me alive, and go ahead…make my day. I shall be going to council loaded for bear soon. Plenty will be going down soon as I prepare for the election and register to speak. I dare them to shut me off after 5 minutes. What I have to say to certain people will not be kind. I am willing to die for my freedom as now I have transferred into Braveheart! Without the skirt. Love ya Dougie. I’m coming for your seat. Like I said before Dyke will be the 1st to go. Yes, I’m a Mountie and always get my man. Time to put Mad down. Ahh…I love free speech. Enjoy.

      Gary Worton August 4, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Nice one Tom, I’d vote for you in a Braveheart beat! Can you find a like minded candidate to run in my ward (1) to get shut of Donna und Blitzen?

    Maggie Smith August 4, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I did not call you Tommy but we all know it was a good letter with facts.
    I am afraid of downtown Galt – have been approached many times for money and once one of the men from Bridges stepped in front of my car & would not budge. So yes, we certainly do have a problem in Galt.
    The Mayor keeps pushing to make downtown Galt something but it is not. I never go downtown, but he is trying to force people to shop there. And if he takes the COMPLEX to Conestoga, our Mall will empty out more and the downtown Galt might as well close up shops – thanks to the Mayor for sending business & money to Kitchener. What a clueless Mayor – what on earth is he on???
    Well done again Tommy – we sure need people like you on Council – you are honest & say it like it is instead of sticking your head in the sand.
    I’m getting signs ready for my front lawn for 2018 – I’m ready – are you?

    Tom Vann August 5, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Thanks Gary and Maggie. We have a big problem. I see the Record this morning dumping endless praise on mayor Doug. Few facts and reporting done for the whole story. What does that tell you. No mention of the true person that got the ball rolling…Jan Liggett. I wish she was my council member. Each time I read the paper she makes sense. Now John Wayne as mayor will soon have credit where credit is not warranted. If our mayor would only do more right things, I could support him but there seems to always be a personal agenda and legacy thought involved. The Record with D’Amato and other writers are either ass patting our mayor with blind support or are just plain lazy reporters and dislike our city. Now I know numerous people have spoken out against Mr. Vivian, but I will tell you he appears to be an honest, factual reporter. I have no strings to this man. I only write and send them in. He shows little or no favoritism. Unlike D’Amato. She is just a useless reporter or opinion column in my books. I also like that young Indian girl Anam. With further polish I think she will be a good one. Puppet. There are plenty for Dougie. To get a pat on the head or have a little arts bonus tossed their way makes things right. Ya, I was brought up different. A pig is still a pig, no matter how much lipstick ya put on it. I’m heading to the Delta with my sign….WE NEED A NEW MAYOR AND CITY MANAGER. DYKE AND DOUG GOTTA GO!! Let’s make Cambridge Great again. Have a good day.

      RK August 7, 2017 at 7:16 am

      I think we need posters made up like that and a big sign at the Delta to say the same thing!!!! Way to you Tommy

    Tom Vann August 6, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    I just wrote a great piece about all the homo stuff I found hanging in trees at Riverside park near the Kin Canada and it went poof off this site. What a waste. I contacted Doner Reed about it and expect it addressed. Terrible crap on our trails and in the bush. condoms, lube tubes, literature, clothes etc. Unacceptable, and the public might hear about this mess. I had my family and the grandsons with me, I was furious. They just can’t keep this shit to themselves. The homo’s gotta toss it in the public eye any chance they get. I went back and cleaned up a ton of the crap and even took some to city hall attention Danna Reed.

    Paulo Milmine August 6, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    ln Paris on the weekend. Your city’s a hit on social news. Cracker haven. Ha ha ha.

    Concerned August 7, 2017 at 7:20 am

    We need a group of ‘malcontents’ to get together, do a sweep of a park with gloves on…go down to City Hall and drop all the shit on both Douggie and Dykie’s office then tell them that they need to get their shit together and do something NOW!!! Tell them to quit BLINDSIDING us taxpayers and malcontents

    Maggie Smith August 7, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Re Paris – Craig wanted to make a name for Cambridge – not sure this was how!
    Craig & Dyke are only interested in building up their Bank Account$$
    Not looking after Cambridge the way they should so we could all be proud of our City. We used to be – but not any more.
    When you have a Mayor giving away our money & future by promising to build our Sports Complex other than central to Cambridge – then we know where his priorities lie. For sure – in his Wallet$$$ nOT JOBS FOR OUR RESIDENTS!!
    Keep at it Tommy – we sure need more people like you that is aware of just what is happening in our City & it is not good.
    As I have said before – we stay away from Galt – there is nothing there we shop at & the last time I passed Bridges – a man stood in front of my car – in the middle of the street – we waited each other out.
    When you have Craig more interested in his legacy than Cambridge’s reputation – then we are in TROUBLE!! YES – WE ARE IN TROUBLE$$

    Tom Vann August 7, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks folks but it is the city that should be doing the cleaning. Dona should be going to the park to view what is there in HER ward. Terrible stuff for kids to see. Remember Rick C. with the downtown BIA in Hespeler, Nic with Riverside multiplex….she said my ward. So here ya go Dona….clean up your ward and we will see you there with your gloves on. I just want it cleaned up. As I said, I got a ton of it but ran low on time. Oh ya, I was scared to go into the bush with only 6 rounds.

    Tom Vann August 9, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Donna set met up with staff to clean the park. A job they did well I heard. Hats off to Donna.

    Maggie Smith August 10, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I thought we had Bike Patrol in the summer. Do they not see what has been going on in the Parks & trails. Otherwise what are they good for. We see them biking around town but not sure what their job is. There needs to be some kind of patrol done on the trails/parks for keep tabs on things/people.
    And Soper Park was mentioned once for the Complex – why not. There is nothing going on there – but people with dogs – not on leases – doing their poop job & no one picks up. Soper Park is not used hardly at all – I watch from the Tennis Courts & very unused. Of course, so out of touch with homes – but definitely underused. But the dogs love it for a “poop park” – yesterday there was a dog fight as owners do not keep on leashes.
    The City doesn’t know how little Park is used – they are never there.

    Concerned August 11, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Oh wow Good to hear the Donner has done one thing!! Maybe she is looking for votes in 2018..she can boast about what she did to clean up the park…it can be an election platform…In my humble opinion it was a job that needed to be done and was only done when brought to her attention by Mr. Vann

    chester August 11, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Yes – isn’t it sad that we the unpaid taxpayers have to bring attention to so many lacking issues in Cambridge.
    Such as the drug issue to Craig. Do they really live in the real world or in windowless homes.
    How sad – we pay & have to do the work for them.
    Yup – election coming up – watch all the crap in the next months………….

    Tom Vann September 16, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Soper Park. My daughter will not take her kids there again till it is cleaned up. Needles, clothes, broken glass, and garbage. It shocks me to see our city turn into 3rd world conditions such as Soper Park, weeds around the city 3 feet high, and management with shotgun attitude. The Mayor jumped into his John Wayne outfit to save our city from Crackheads. I have not seen any change or effort made to remove these people from the medians around this town. It makes us look terrible to travelers. I found a bra, pants, shirt, and rubber band with a hole in it to inject near city hall on Wednesday. Anyone walking by must have been stunned. The “Pet Project Madness” city hall has for Galt has put us in a financial mess. Look at Preston….nothing spent in years. City management can’t even fix or tear down the Dam. Give us your tax bucks and shut-up. Galt needs come first. As for Hespeler they also got what?… a new road that was needed for 20 years. For those stupid enough to believe the LRT will come to Cambridge dream on. The Region has our tax flow and our Regional Council is like a Ghost. You never hear Jack 8%$^&* till election time. Look for Karl to try running for mayor. He seems tired of calling Doug Your Worship”. I never called a judge that and I won’t call Dougie that for sure. Our city has hit loads of other city conversations. I just went to Belwood Lake to another show and Bam, more people said Cambridge is Crack Heaven that has city hall problems. I wonder how that has gotten around? Oh yeah, I forgot…Gun slinging, and knife wielding crack heads that will blow your head off and gut you have moved in this summer. A WOMAN crackhead screamed this to a fellow l know from a begging median stand. l heard it. She is blonde and looks rough. I might dress up as Santa and hand out city flyers that say “It’s All Right Here”.

    Randy Toner January 23, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    The Mayor has not done anything to fix this problem like he promised. Cambridge is the drug center in Ontario. In tonight’s paper we sound bad. Just do your job Mayor and fix this. I stopped shopping downtown because l might get robbed.

    skipped January 24, 2018 at 10:24 am

    I am with you Randy – I never go to downtown Galt. I have been asked for money & a man by Bridges stood in front of my car & we waited it out to see who would move first. I had the choice – run him over or back up. As they call it downtown Galt – it isn’t a place you want to go to any more.
    So I will likely never see the 1 1/2 M. dollar not needed bridge and ever use the mega million dollar Post Office.
    So a waste for those of us that do not live in the so-called downtown area.
    Just continued waste of money by this Mayor that will run again – terrible.

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