Hi. I'm Geraldine Dixon. Actually, I am Alicia's mother.
After dealing with the incident that occurred to my daughter and her family, the following day I went down to our local RCMP detachment, where I spoke to an officer, and then after leaving there I spoke to our acting mayor, Colleen Smook. Mrs. Smook recommended that we send a letter of our concerns to the Minister of Justice, as well as to mayor and council. The letters were sent August 13 and August 15, 2018, respectively.
In a follow-up to the letters sent, my daughter and I spoke to the mayor and council at the monthly city council meeting, where Mayor Fenske told us that the decision to get rid of the Thompson local 911 call centre was made by the Manitoba government, not the city, and that northern Manitoba does not have the infrastructure to support a 911 call centre. Mayor Fenske told us that they had been lobbying the government to fix this problem, but “that's just how it is in the north”.
We also sent an email regarding our concerns to Cliff Cullen, Minister of Justice, and we copied Brian Pallister, Kelly Bindle and Niki Ashton. We received a reply to our email from Karen Lambert, director of contract policing, recommending to stay on the line when calling 204-677-6911.
I met with Kelly Bindle, Thompson's MLA, on September 19, 2018, after numerous attempts to meet with him, and was told that he would send off another letter to Cliff Cullen as the last reply we received from him was unsatisfactory.
We were told Mr. Bindle would be in contact with us and, to date, one day shy of one month, we had not heard anything. I want to do a follow-up to this because after we sent this letter on to your committee, Mr. Bindle did get back to us and we forwarded his email on to you. But please note that in Mr. Bindle's email he contradicts Mayor Fenske, saying that infrastructure is and always has been in place and at no time has Mr. Bindle seen any lobbying done to change the existing situation.
For awareness purposes, my daughter and I have started a petition, which we will present to the new mayor and council, showing the concerns and the support from the community for a local 911 call centre. Thompson is known as the hub of the north, and Maclean's magazine has ranked us number two on the most dangerous place to live in Canada list. People do not feel safe, and we need change.
If I might add to this, we received another email from Kelly Bindle regarding our RCMP 911 service. There is one paragraph I would love to read, as it highlights why we are here today speaking to you. It says:
The RCMP has provided the following information regarding this specific incident: On August 11, 2018, between 1:30 and 2:30 am, the RCMP received 50 emergency calls—