Back to Back incidents at Newfie’s Last Night

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(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Friday night at Newfie’s is never an evening without some type of excitement. Last night was no exception to the rule, as both police and paramedics responded to the establishment at least twice.

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Eyewitnesses on location have told us that there were two incidents that unfolded, the first situation is unclear what had happened, but both are alleged to have been the result of mixing illicit drugs and alcohol together. The first incident unfolded around 7:30, and had one Superior North EMS ambulance respond along with at least one Thunder Bay Police Service cruiser.

During the first incident, we are unsure if anyone was taken to the hospital, but we have been told that violence was not involved, as it was just a medical issue. Likely a bad reaction to a drug/alcohol mix.

Later on Friday evening, police and paramedics responded to what is believed to be an overdose. We are unsure which drug was being used, but we have been told one person was taken to the hospital for further monitoring. A witness in the bar tells us that this is a regular occurrence in the area. The bar has been taking the brunt of the blame for the demise of the south downtown core. What the majority of the public seems to dismiss is the fact the south downtown core is the home to the Shelter House, where many vulnerable people utilize their services such as free needles, crack pipes, food and a place to sleep. During the day, it is common for their clientele to roam the downtown area, and Newfie’s / Victoriaville Mall are friendly places where they can linger around outside/inside and pass the time relatively until they can return to their place to sleep safely at night.

There is also another well-known issue that the people who use the Shelter House have, some have been banned from the facility for consuming alcohol or drugs in the building. Drug/alcohol addiction is considered a disease, is it humanitarian to boot these people out for something they have next to no control over if any? Our detox centre in town is often full, there has to be a better solution. Another issue is the Shelter House is often at full capacity, and they cannot allow any more people into the building due to regulations regarding the maximum capacity of the building. Could this not be waived for this building? This would allow more people to gain access to warmth and comfort, instead of standing outside the building waiting for someone to leave to they may enter.

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There is no establishment, including the Shelter House that is to blame for the social issues the south downtown core is facing. The reality is that the system is failing to help the people that need help the most. City Councillor Aldo Ruberto has been pushing for the “Tiny Homes” project, but in the time of the previous council, he was unable to drum up interest. It will be interesting to see how our new councillors address the issue, as many campaigned on helping Thunder Bay’s homeless situation.

Lori Paras, the owner of “The Hub” has been pushing behind the scenes and in public for solutions that would help our most vulnerable citizens. City Councillor Brian Hamilton has also been pushing for new ideas and action to directly address the issues of homelessness and drug use. Hamilton has gone around the city on numerous occasions handing out meals to people who would otherwise go without that day.

The solution to Thunder Bay’s issues is not ignoring them, this has not worked ever in the history of mankind. The pressure is on our new city councillors to immediately begin addressing the issues they campaigned on.

Our police and paramedics are constantly responding to drug and alcohol abuse related problems, and a substantial amount of those calls are homeless people who are lost and need help. Medicine Hat has successfully addressed the matter in their home. The question is begging to be asked, what is preventing our city from providing proper help to get people off the street, housed, and improving their quality of life? Provincial and federal members of parliament, City councillors, First Nations leaders, and Mayor Bill Mauro, please consider this an open invitation to inform the citizens of Thunder Bay as to what the plan going forward is, and when we can expect to see a plan in action.

Note: Don’t give me that crap that they shouldn’t be using drugs or alcohol, until you’ve suffered what they have, and are seeking anything to dull the pain, you have no clue. Drugs and alcohol is not the solution, but it is a symptom of a larger problem. Address the issues, don’t sidestep them over that all too often lame-duck excuse that they “do it to themselves”.

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23 Replies to “Back to Back incidents at Newfie’s Last Night”

  1. Kudos to Lori Paras and Brian Hamilton for making a difference. First Nation leaders and Mayor Bill Mauro need to get on board and come up with solutions. Thank you Pino for calling them out. As a citizen what can we do to get this message to them? I would like to see the homeless, drug/alcohol addicts get the help that they need. What can a person to help?

  2. Its pretty harsh that we have people “on the streets” in the middle of our winters, when you really think of it.
    Not sure of the logistics involved, but what if we made it an option for individuals to migrate to a warmer climate (GTA or other southern Ontario parts) ? To be clear, Im not saying *force* anyone, that would be morally wrong (to force someone out of their hometown and into another locale). But, if given the option, maybe some would prefer the southern climate ?

  3. After reading so many rude and derogatory comments in the past, seems the hearts are coming out now. Great comments. Bubba it’s not your fault, it’s our fault, and loops I think you nailed it. What can “we” as a society of humans, do to help. The problem won’t be fixed by words, we need to come together and take action. What can “we” do to help? Help each other, support our police force, they are severely lacking manpower. I think that needs to be addressed as well. Let’s step up and be good humans. We need to stop judging, finger pointing, and do something about it. We will all grow together

  4. What’s the solution indeed?!

    I have a few questions.

    1. Is it true the reserves “evict” the majority of these individuals that hang around Victoriaville?
    2. Is it true the majority of the indigenous crime is, indigenous against indigenous or indigenous against Caucasian?
    3. What’s the ratio of crime in this city based on Ethnicity?
    4. How much does the Federal or Provincial government spend on Northern reserves per year?
    5. Do you think it’s right that we pay with our taxes to subsidize the use of drugs and Alcohol to sustain the habit of ANY individuals in Thunder Bay? Because we do. When these individuals are picked up drunk, they’re brought to a certain location and fed more alcohol. Think I’m kidding? Educate yourself!
    6. Out of the 100’s of millions of dollars paid to the Northern reserves and our own FWFN, what has that money done? What have THEY done to combat this issue? Why are WE responsible to find the solution to the problem they’re creating and sustaining?
    Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that a few individuals are feeding these people and keeping them warm, but in the BIG picture, what are they really doing to help STOP the crises at hand? Nothing!
    Pino, you’re a Journalist now. See if you can answer any of these questions! Or, if there’s someone else out there, maybe YOU can answer them. They’re honest questions with no bias or insinuation.

    1. I think your questions are all over the map and need to be addressed individually to municipal provincial and federal governments. Maybe statistic Canada could also help you in your endeavours. Is it really worth the trouble to know all the answers. How about volunteering at the street level or ask some questions around Victoriaville might help. Just some suggestions.

    2. Loops – ask questions at street level?
      Here’s a hypothetical question. Let’s say I go down to Newfies Pub on a Friday night and do what you suggest. What do you think the outcome would be?
      Second, how the he!! are my questions all over the map? Answer them! You seem to have the answer to everything else.
      Also, you’re asking me if it’s really worth the trouble in answering them? What the hell are you afraid of, the truth?

    3. Of course it’s true.Then they come here and rob and stab us and we are racist. Don’t send them here tell fiddler to get what they need on there reserves and stop blaming police and every other service they are abusing. Enough of this poor me shit! I had a lot of disfunctsionality in my life I didn’t cry about it and expect a handout it made me want to be a better person! So let’s call a spade a spade and stop making excuses for people that make poor choices! Dig in your pockets Chiefs and help your people and stop the blame game!

    4. Bubba. I don’t think anyone here can answer your questions but hey at least I tried. Lol. But I think if you went to street level and asked a few questions maybe you wouldn’t get an intellectual answer but you could see where the majority of the people are coming from. And isn’t this what you want to know. Why the people are uneducated have addiction issues no jobs and how much money actually goes into their pockets from you. Changes are being made and Indigenous peoples have more control over education and child welfare now. So let’s hope this new beginning brings fruitful rewards because what White people government have done in the past doesn’t work and didn’t work. If native people were allowed on your street growing up we wouldn’t have the problems we have today.

    5. Loops – again, you’re saying things I’ve never mentioned. One thing I’ll agree with you on, you’re right. I wouldn’t get an intellectual answer. I’d get the sh#t beat out of me.
      Speaking of education, it’s been offered to your People free for decades. It’s nothing new. What’s your friends excuses for not going? You also talk about your people walking the same street as me growing up and if they did, there wouldn’t be the issues of today. Well, guess what? The Natives I grew up with don’t have the issues you’re speaking of and are also shaking their heads at what’s going on. I’ve been friends with them for years – on and off the reserve. Do you want names? Ask Pino for my emails address and I’ll name them for you. You probably know them.

    6. Bubba. Come on. if you have smart native buddies why are you on here asking these questions. Ask your buddies. I’m sure they can tell you why cause I can’t make it any clearer for you I don’t have the answers. I’m only trying to help you get answers but your too afraid your going to get beat up. And also not all natives get free education. If your buddies lived off reserve they would say the same.

    7. Loops, my Native Buddies aren’t stupid. They know a cash cow when they see one. Do you honestly think they would tell the Government to stop subsidising them? Come on!

    1. To late bill they are already building a new newfies on simpson st and getting closer to the family neighbourhoods in that area

  5. You are spot on with the note you left at the end of the article…it took a lot of help and 10 plus years of trying to finally make things better for myself…the key was actually finding out what was wrong that caused me to abuse alcohol etc. So many out there just have no clue. I hated the taste of beer and other alcohol…was not using it because I liked it…was using to kill the pain.

  6. These are not “social” problems.. These are individual’s problems to deal with. The whole problem is people think these problems can be solved by others. In fact only the person themselves can chose to make improvements. The more you coddle and excuse this bad behaviour, the more you encourage it. Look no further than yourself if you are a person that’s enabling this behaviour to find the real “root cause”.

    Stop making excuses for this behaviour.. you too Pino.

    1. drus happened when armanis was up the opioid crisis hadn’t hit it was still considered an under ground thing or market

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