Lawlessness pushes out another business in downtown Vancouver

'Retailers are complaining that when somebody is taken away by police, that person can be back at their store door or inside their store within hours of being arrested,' said Greg Wilson, the director of government relations with Retail Council of Canada.

Lawlessness pushes out another business in downtown Vancouver
(left): itscourtwatkins/Instagram
Remove Ads

Crime and chaos have pushed another Vancouver business to pack their bags.

Courtney Watkins, the owner of Mine and Yours on Howe Street has decided that running a business downtown isn't worth the risk and is closing the location out of fears for the safety of her staff.

The location was open for nearly eight years.

“It really was our first real store, it’s where I felt like the business began,” she said.

Watkins has opened three additional stores, but the downtown location has become a magnet for problems, despite having bars on the windows and a buzzer entry system for clients.

“We’ve had our window broken 10 or 12 times,” she said to Global News.

“I feel like the final straw happened a while ago but then I kept holding on.”

Watkins added that the store alarm has been triggered countless times in the middle of the night. On one occasion, she was hit with a double dose of crime.

“I drove in, window was smashed,” she said.

“And while I was waiting in the store for five hours to come have someone board it up my car windows got smashed in the alley and they stole things out of my car as well.”

“It’s not just our business that is feeling it,” she added,

During the COVID-19 pandemic, her neighbor made headlines when someone walked out of the business next door with an ottoman.

In 2022, staff at another boutique on the same block were also victimized in a bear spray robbery.

Greg Wilson, the director of government relations with Retail Council of Canada, is calling for changes in federal sentencing guidelines for repeat offenders.

“Retailers are complaining that when somebody is taken away by police, that person can be back at their store door or inside their store within hours of being arrested,” said Wilson.

The City of Vancouver is calling for help from both the province and the federal government: “We have a mental health and addictions crisis here in Vancouver, this is the epicentre of it, and we need an all-hands-on-deck approach,” Coun. Peter Meiszner said.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads