Impassioned pleas for curfew
Mothers say action needed now, but council orders more talk
by Richard Gleeson
NNSL (Sep 10/97) - Two mothers pleaded with city council Monday night for action, in the form of a curfew, to help control their kids.
"Many of you may not be aware of the large numbers of parents stressed out because their kids are not attending school, or coming home drunk or on drugs," Jeanne Gagnon told council.
Gagnon, her voice breaking with emotion, said she was just one of many parents who have "run out of strength and run out of support."
Her call for action was backed up by Cathy Allooloo.
"I would have had a written presentation, but I spent the day with the RCMP and Social Services trying to get my daughter to go to school," said Allooloo, adding both groups said they were powerless to force her daughter to go to school.
Both mothers said a recommendation made by works and public safety staff to consult regularly with the RCMP and appropriate agencies did not go nearly far enough to address their concerns.
The committee rejected imposing a curfew.
"I found the recommendation very weak," said Gagnon. "It does not indicate to me at all that council is aware of what is happening on the streets."
"It has to be more than just talk," said Allooloo. "We've got to move, we've got to do stuff and we've got to do it really soon."
Allooloo said she supports the institution of a curfew, at least temporarily, and questioned the contention that it would be unenforceable.
"Perhaps we should abolish the law that says our kids have to go to school, since we can't enforce that."
Ald. Vi Beck raised the question of responsibility, asking Allooloo, "When should it be parent's responsibility to ensure kids should be at home by a certain hour?"
"It's a difficult question," answered Allooloo. "I don't have the answer. My daughter is bigger than me, I can't sit on her. At least for some mums and dads it will do something."
But at the end of the meeting, talk was all both mothers got.
Council sent the matter back to committee for further discussion.