Anger expressed over PSIT review

Those who expected a month-long look into the district’s Public Safety Inspection Team (PSIT) Program to provide answers and direction were disappointed when the report was discussed at Monday’s council meeting.Politicians heard criticism from residents and Coun. Jenny Stevens.Stevens was disappointed with the report, but saved her strongest condemnation for the questionnaire at the back of the document.“I’ve heard of slanted surveys, but this is a whopper,” said the outspoken councillor who had no knowledge of the survey prior to its release. “This is a total waste of time and council will learn nothing from this … This is garbage.”She suggested council move clearly in one direction and made a motion to prepare a new bylaw before May 24 restricting PSIT inspections, except for RCMP referrals. Stevens’ motion was applauded by the audience, but her colleagues had other opinions and felt the comments were too harsh.The six other councillors agreed the questionnaire could be more open, but were comfortable with the direction of the process.Coun. Mike Scudder chastised Stevens for her comments, which he says were designed for an audience that has already taken a position.The questions will draw from a different segment of the community and generate responses from other people who don’t have their minds made up about the program yet, said Scudder.“I disagree there’s only one answer. What’s the point of going through the process when the answer is pre-determined?”Much work has already been done and more research is underway, said Coun. Paul Horn, encouraging people to offer more feedback. “I don’t know why we would want to pre-judge the research.”The review is simply the framework for change and a conclusion can’t be reached until the district gathers community input and has a debate, said Mayor James Atebe.Speakers that night disagreed with some aspects of the report such as how long an inspection takes and whether or not homeowners are allowed to accompany the examiners.A few residents talked about personal cases and wanted to know how the stigma attached to the inspections will be addressed.“When it’s proven I don’t have a [marijuana] grow op, will you go and explain it to my neighbours?” asked Dan Williamson.Input for the ongoing PSIT review can be sent to the district at info@mission.ca.