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PoliticsMunicipal17TuesdayJune242014ByJACKDANYLCHUKIfperceptionisrealitythenpoliticiansandpublicsafetyofcialswillhavetodomoretoconvincesomeYellowkniferesidentsthattheirstreetsaresafeforeveryone.AyearafteraspateofhomeinvasionsandassaultsshookcondenceinpublicsafetysomewomenstillhesitatetousetheFrameLakeTrailapopularlinkbetweendown-townandStantonTerritorialHospital.RuthMcKeowntoldameet-ingonpublicsafetylastweekthatshefeltconcernwhenshesawalightly-dressedyoungwomanenterthetrailasnightwasfalling.IwantedtowarnherbutshewasgonebeforeIcouldsaidMcKeownoneofmorethan50personsintheaudi-enceheavilysaltedwithpoli-ticiansgovernmentofcialsandrepresentativesofNGOs.AsimilarmeetinglastOc-toberdrewmorethan100residentswhoairedcon-cernsaboutsafetyandpub-licdrunkennessamongthecityshomeless.Inresponsethecitycutbrushalongthetrailandimprovedlightingwhilepoliceincreasedtheirpatrols.YellowknifetrailsstreetsaresafepoliticianspoliceDespitearecentviolentassaultnearthetrailandan-otherhomeinvasionYel-lowknifestreetsaresafeaccordingtopoliceandpoliticianswhohostedthemeeting.MayorMarkHeyckblamedblazinghead-linesforahugepercep-tionherethattheresdangerlurkingaroundeverycor-ner.ThereareassaultsinourcommunitybutIdsaythevastmajorityofthosearebehindcloseddoorshesaid.TherecentclosureofthedayshelterandtheremovalofpublicbenchesfromapopulargatheringplaceonFranklinAve.shouldnotbeseenasanefforttopushthehomelessoutofthedown-towncoreHeycksaid.Thebencheswereonpri-vatepropertyandthecityhadnochoicebuttocom-plywhentheowneract-ingonpubliccomplaintsaskedthattheybemovedHeycksaid.GlenAbernethyministerofHealthandSocialServicesandJusticeMinisterDavidRamsaysaidanewdayshel-terforYellowknifeshome-lesswillopenthisfallbutwerentclearonhowitwillbenanced.Thegovernmenthasntfoundabuildingoranoperator.Sofarjust300000hasbeenfoundtonancetheshelterthatstruggledtokeepitsdoorsopenonanannualbudgetofmorethan600000.TheMunicipalEnforce-mentDivisionandRCMPareco-ordinatingstafftopatrolthedowntownandtrailsbyfootbicycleandATVcreatingamorevis-iblepresencesaidInspec-torFrankGallagherwhoheadsRCMPforcesinYellowknife.GallaghersaidtheRCMPisalsoinvitingthepublictoparticipateincitizensonpatrolCOPSandCrimeStoppersortovolunteerthroughtheJohnHowardSocietyinacitizensre-sponseteam.YellowknifewillalsogetawellnesscourtbytheendoftheyearwhichwilldivertthosewithsubstanceabuseissuesoutofthemaincourtsystemRamsaytoldtheaudience.Apilotcourtwillbereadybeforetheendoftheyear.Itwillensurethatpeoplewhobenetmostfromtreatmentwillreceivethesupporttheyneedhesaid.PhotoJackDanylchukByJACKDANYLCHUKThedealwasalmostthreeyearsinthemakingbutlastweektheterritorialgovern-mentcompletedthesaleoftwobuildingsonwhatwasonceYellowknifesDia-mondRow.ThebuyerDeepakKumarpresidentandCEOofDeepakInternationalLtd.DILtweetednewsofhispurchaseTuesdayeveningtothedelightofDavidRamsayminis-terofIndustryTradeandInvestment.Themoneyisinourac-countsaidRamsaywho18monthsagorevealedDILasthemysterybuyerofthefactoriesthathavebeenidlesince2009whenthelastcuttingandpolishingopera-tionontherowwentbroke.ThegovernmentissuedarequestforproposalsinSeptember2011seekingamanufacturerwhowouldbuythebuildingsandreturnGNWTbanks1.9MinsaleofDiamondRowbuildingstoDeepakthemtoproduction.DILwastheonlycompanytoenterabid.Thereisstillnowordonwhenthefactorieswillopen.RamsaydidntknowandKumardidnotreplytoarequestfordetails.MyexperiencewiththediamondindustryisthatthesethingstakelongerRamsaysaidandnotedthatittookCrossworksManufacturingthreeyearstocompleteaplantoopenadiamonddemonstrationcentreinYellowknife.Theimportantthingisthatwehaverecoveredsomeofthepublicinvest-mentRamsaysaid.Beforethesaleofthefac-toriestheterritorialgov-ernmenthadlost6mil-liononthe20millionitploughedintodevelopingYellowknifeasadiamondmanufacturingcentre.BasedinVancouverCrossworksisCanadaslargestdiamondmanufac-turer.ItopenedafactoryindowntownYellowknifein2008.Theimportantthingisthatwehaverecoveredsomeofthepublicinvestment.MinisterDavidRamsayIndustryTourismandInvestmentIndustryDiamondsMLAWendyBisaroleftmoderatesameetingonpublicsafetyinYellowknifewithRCMPSupt.RonSmithInsp.FrankGallagherJusticeMinisterDaveRamsayHealthandSocialServicesMinisterGlenAbernethyandMayorMarkHeyck.