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General News · 19th November 2011
Suzan Denis
Many conversations later, I come to the understanding that “social justice” for the perpetrators of the recent crime spree on Cortes is not an option. Many people do not want these individuals back on Cortes Island, for any reason, ever. That’s it, that’s all. Needless to say, a “victim impact statement” along with a letter of intention for social justice was not drafted up and forwarded to Shane Worth, the RCMP officer handling the case.

I still believe there is a place for the “social justice” model here on Cortes Island, not with this particular situation, but certainly at some point when there is the possibility of redirecting a young adult in our community whose path is threatening to derail because of poor choices. This type of intervention has the potential to make a difference.

As I listened to people speak about the impact of the crime spree on them, I also came to the understanding that these perpetrators were caught because neighbors worked together to track the perpetrators, call the RCMP, and do what they could to help each other out. It is people caring for each other that makes a community a really good place to live. There is a lot we are doing to support a culture of safety on Cortes and I suspect the recent events will inspire people to take even more, positive, preventative steps to preserve this culture.

I conclude with a wee story: over the past month, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing an older man mentor a young man in his 20’s. The older man talks about how happy he is to help the younger man as he embarks on his path. He received so much help from older men when he was a young man and he has never forgotten how much it meant to him. I know the young man appreciates the older man’s support and it looks to me like a friendship is blooming. Soon the young man will leave Cortes Island to live in the city. Somehow though, I think they will remain friends.