Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's Not My Job, So It's Not My Job

It's not my job to patrol the back lanes in my area, and it's not my job to contact 311. It's not my job to provide information to the City of Winnipeg when garbage is overflowing in dumpsters, or mattresses have collected down the back lane. It is not my job to report garages falling down, and it's not my job to educate those I see illegally dumping garbage in the North End. It's not my job to phone landlords and inform them of ill behaved tenants, and it's not my job to ensure my neighbours are being respectful. It is not my job to provide information to neighbours on how to take care of their landlord issues. It is not my job to be the eyes and ears of the neighbourhood.
None of these things are part of my job description. I get no pay cheque for these things I have done. The performance of these tasks was not to become wealthy, or to gain fame. It really just started because my husband and I wanted a good night sleep, and we wanted our garbage picked up. And for some reason, I thought I might be able to fix these issues. So I tried.
After a full year of performing these tasks, I have gained a bit of insight into the issues facing the North End of Winnipeg.
I have learned that garbage will keep appearing. No matter how many times I call to have it taken away, or talk to landlords or illegal dumpers driving into the North End, it will just keep coming.
I have learned that landlords will keep populating their rental units with whomever they want. After logging incidents, calling the Police, calling landlords, having tenants removed, new ones appear to repeat the same patterns. Nothing really changes, and it just costs me time and aggravation.
I have learned that City Departments are complaint driven, and there is no rush in taking care of any issues in the North End.
And the worst thing I learned was issues with the Police. I have had two seperate incidents involving the Police which have disturbed me. One, when a landlord attempted to run me down and the Police officer refused to take my statement. The other was with an intoxicated individual damaging property, attempting to break into a residence, drove drunk, and drove into a fence. The Police representative on the phone said there was no incident, and the police who responded to our 911 call said the person was doing nothing wrong.
I have had further information given to me regarding a lack of arrests when people commit crimes. I was told about a retail outlet in the North End, where shoplifters are caught. When the Police arrive, they release the offenders without charges being laid. Some cases involve theft of over $500. I have heard about people being assaulted and victims taken, leaving the accused to remain free. I have heard of people calling the Police to report intoxicated individuals asleep on their front lawns, being told to just drag them out of their yards. Nevermind all the drug deals seen in plain sight, and prostitutes on the streets.
Well, this is not my job. It is not what I signed on for. And this is just a little too big for me to fix.
Maybe Sam Katz should walk down a couple of streets in the North End. Maybe he should take a look at the condition of this part of HIS city. Because, quite frankly, I am tired of looking. And I am tired of trying to fix a City that doesn't want to be fixed.
I will take care of my own dumpster. And I will take care of issues in my yard. But as far as the North End goes, I think you better call in the Army, because the City doesn't seem to care.
The Fort Garry Horse are at their barracks on McGregor, so they're handy. Just submit a request for services. Declare Marshall Law if you must. Trudeau did it when he felt it necessary. But do something.
Somebody has to grow a pair, and take care of business, because it's not MY job.

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