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Kamloops mayoral candidate Hamer-Jackson touts goals, not platform

Reid Hamer-Jackson says he has a solution to the problems plaguing the streets
Reid Hamer-Jackson- HORIZ or SQ copy
Reid Hamer-Jackson is a mayoral candidate in the Oct. 15 civic election.

Reid Hamer-Jackson said he has goals, not a platform, he has goals.

The Kamloops mayoral candidate added that he has solutions to the street issues Kamloops and other municipalities across B.C. have been facing.

Hamer-Jackson believes street crime is an issue across the province because the provincial government has taken a harm-reduction approach to addiction issues and related street crime.

Over the past few years, Hamer-Jackson said, he has opened 95 files with the Kamloops RCMP due to issues around his vehicle dealership, Tru Market, located downtown at 260 Victoria Street W., not far from The Mustard Seed outreach centre and emergency shelter and the Cllémentem Mini Storage for the homeless and right across the street from he Emerald Centre homeless shelter and the Rosethorn supportive housing complex.

Hamer-Jackson implied local social agencies are incentivized to keep people in the community.

"Their problem is addiction. We have a huge addiction and mental-health problem and we keep feeding it with more safe-injection sites and drug houses," he said.

Hamer-Jackson has been vocal about establishing a recovery centre outside of the city centre and said transportation should be provided so people on the street can return to their home communities.

"We can't be afraid to send them back. They're adults. If they want to go back to their own communities, why wouldn't we?" he said.

The lifelong Kamloopsian said the city's use of community safety officers isn't working and noted 80 per cent of the people he has had issues with have said they are from outside of Kamloops.

When asked if such a policy would work if it was implemented by other mayors of other cities facing issues with street crime and repeat offenders, Hamer-Jackson sees no reason why it wouldn't.

The candidate also said he wants to "have a chat" with the boards of social agencies in the name of accountability.

When asked what that chat would produce, Hamer-Jackson said he believes social agencies aren't fulfilling their mandates. It is something he thinks he can change.

"I don't do things to lose. I think we will make it work. It will happen," Hamer-Jackson said when pressed about his plans to speak with social agencies.

Hamer-Jackson again pointed to the idea that social agencies are profiting from keeping people within Kamloops and not helping them solve their addiction issues — and that he could solve the issue by sending people out of Kamloops.

"We can get them a bus ticket. I've already got a bus," he said.

Hamer-Jackson said he also wants to evaluate the qualifications of city management.

"My goal is to get a safe community. With that goal, it's going to be sitting down and talking to some people in senior management. I'm not firing anybody. I'm one guy of nine. I want to know their qualifications," he said.

Hamer-Jackson said the point of that exercise is "success" and, when asked how it would result in success, he replied, “You get qualified people." When asked how, he said there would be new hires.

However, Hamer-Jackson doesn’t yet have a plan on how management would be evaluated.

"That's a long story. I could sit here for a week," he said.

When asked who would be doing the evaluations, he pointed to other city staff.

"Not everybody needs to be evaluated," he added.


Age: 63

Occupation: Small business owner

Contact information:

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Editor's note: This article has been edited to remove a sentence in which Hamer-Jackson claimed that 1,800 people had been dropped off in Kamloops in the past three years. The sentence was excised because there is no proof of that happening, nor has there been any definitive proof of agencies like ASK Wellness bussing homeless people to the city, despite numerous social media claims.