living on the edge
Pine fell in a 1994 Chevrolet van.
Vehicles are cluttered with tools and work equipment.
In contrast, the paperwork in the leather folder he carries with him is neat and tidy-
The clean cursive on the pages of the book, the remains of an era have disappeared.
The van has no air conditioning, so he shakes the window most of the time.
As he drove, his arms swayed in the breeze, leaning against the side of the door.
Whenever he passes by another car, his hand rises in the waves and his head nods.
Sometimes he stops to chat with a passer-by, then loads his van up and goes on the road. Powerview-
Pine Falls is his home, where he lived all his life.
But as he drove through the streets of town to investigate the condition of the community around him, he couldn\'t help but feel his home was going to hell.
\"We really felt like we had lost this community for a while.
It feels more like a battle now.
\"There is a battle going on in this place.
\"On a particularly dry and hot July afternoon, it was the first time to manipulate his old van on a shabby street --
Members of the merged municipalities pointed out what he thought killed the community he loved.
Raised his arm and his index finger stretched out, he first pointed to the hot spot of the drug, the used needle appeared on the ground, and then pointed to the crumbling house (
He thinks most of them should be condemned.
Finally, by the time the shop\'s paper mill was shut down a few years ago, rotten and discarded shells.
\"It was a very good community before the factory was closed.
You have no trouble now.
There are drug addicts here.
You look around at the needles you used.
On weekends, they will walk around in the middle of the night like zombies, \"Berthelette shook his head.
\"Many people left after the factory was closed.
Then we let the landlord of this slum come in and buy a house.
He just drew on the mold and moved people in.
He doesn\'t care who they are.
What happened here is sad.
\"It seems to him that the town is struggling and it is not alone.
Many residents noted that since the closure of the paper mill, the community has experienced a slow recession, causing about residents to lose their jobs overnight.
The closure marks the beginning of the end of the place he knows and loves, he said.
He noted that this was the first spark of an increasingly serious fire that has plagued the town since then, leading to housing deterioration and increased drug activity and crime.
Decline of Powerview-
Pine Falls and residents struggled to repel it, reaching fever levels in the spring after a series of incidents that disrupted the locals, including a series of breaks
In the hospital is a mysterious long-term blockade.
As a result, the RCMP, local politicians and hundreds of residents attended the hastily organized town hall meeting.
The information is clear: something must be done.
At a meeting in early April, the RCMP Staff Sgt.
Standing in front of a group of citizens concerned about the matter, Glen reello confirmed what they already knew: Ice Poison is raging the town, and the local police detachment is already tense.
At the same meeting, a woman stood up with a plastic bag containing used needles in her hand;
They are found on the ground every day.
\"You have to solve these problems.
You can\'t just close your eyes.
What happened here was really a tragedy because it was such a beautiful community, \"said Berthelette, who drove the car into the driveway and parked it in the park.
\"We can\'t let this place take over because that\'s what\'s happening here.
They are trying to take it over.
\"Pine Falls is located on the south bank of the Winnipeg River, along a narrow winding highway lined with dense forests, and to some extent it is still a paper town.
The community, founded by Manitoba pulp and paper company in the 1920 s, was designed to accommodate staff for Mills and logging camps that use fir trees, spruce and Jack pie
In 2005, Pine Falls merged with the Powerview community, which was named after the nearby hydropower dam.
Since these two communities have become one, read \"Powerview-
\"Pine Falls\" greets tourists at the edge of the town.
To reach the sign, 120 kilometers northeast of Winnipeg, you must cross the sagakon First Nation, which is surrounded by the Winnipeg River and is covered in the town on both sides.
The struggles of sagakon, including substance abuse, crime, violence and widespread poverty, are all good --
It is well known that due to a number of prominent community-related criminal cases and the high concentration of missing and murdering indigenous women and girls.
In 2014, Tina Fontaine, 15, was the first country to make headlines. year-
On August, the weighing body was pulled out of the Red River in Winnipeg, wrapped in a duvet, and pressed down with stones.
Then, on April 2017, after 19 people were beaten to death, the community once again became the focus of national attention. year-
Old Serena Mackay
Two girls filmed the vicious attack and posted it on social media. Staff Sgt.
Law enforcement is looking at Powerview-
The Pyne falls and sagakon First Nations are not an independent entity but a large community.
\"There is no isolation, the proximity of these two communities means a problem (facing them)
It\'s all the same, \"he said.
It is picturesque with lush trees and large green grass everywhere.
In the summer, at first glance, it exudes the atmosphere of the resort town, with gardens, picnic tables, ice cream shops and golf courses.
An idyllic little Park sits in the heart of pine falls, built in concentric circles against the backdrop of an old paper mill.
Pine Falls is a private town for generations, which means the factory will take care of everything.
Its presence ensures stable employment, where an honest day of work can earn an honest salary.
People will call the factory if there is any problem.
For example, if something goes wrong at the local hockey field, an employee will be sent to fix it.
The lawn of the people was very short trimmed and their house was paintedif not —
The factory handled the matter and deducted the expenses from the wages of the residents.
Rumors and rumors have spread across town for decades, indicating that business is falling and factories will be closed.
But as the years go by, nothing happens.
The first major change took place in early 2000 when Tembec announced that song falls would have to become self-contained
Enough, no longer can count on the support of the company.
Then merged with Powerview in 2005.
Four years later, another shoe fell off in a labor dispute.
In response, Tembec closed the factory permanently on the grounds that news paper demand declined.
Within a few years, the building itself disappeared, flattened and destroyed.
The heart of the community once stood there, where hundreds of people made a living and spent their working life, leaving nothing but a few pieces of scrap metal and some rusty old equipment.
The template for the mill was the first domino to fall.
It triggered a series of incidents that led to housing deterioration, rising costs and a surge in drug use and crime.
In the end, it will also lead to an intense town hall meeting in April, when residents will eventually say enough.
\"This is a mill town, and its demise has indeed resonated over the years.
The time has passed.
It is a difficult pill for many people to swallow.
It\'s hard to tell them, \'This is something that will never come back, \'says Sharon deshiatnik, the town\'s chief executive.
\"Everyone said, \'Oh, the mill (supposedly)
It\'s been 30 years. It never does.
This is how everyone looks.
But it did.
It is estimated that the paper mill hired more than 400 people at its peak.
About 250 residents were working there when it was closed, which means
The fifth man in town suddenly found himself out of work.
The community has never recovered from the loss.
Statistics Canada 2016 Census
The unemployment rate at Pine Falls is 13.
Eight percentage points, more than twice the province\'s average.
The town also seems to be plagued by underemployment.
Of the 500 people classified as employed in the 2016 census, 360 were working part-timetime.
After the factory was closed, people began to pack up and move out of town.
Many people are eager to go to communities with more financial opportunities and sell their homes at all costs.
Some people simply gave up their property, Berthelette said.
Everything began to change at that time.
Berthelette claims that a landlord, who was living outside Winnipeg at the time, soon came to town to start buying any property priced at less than $70,000.
Berthelette said the landlord played an important role in the deterioration of the community.
Not only did he think that the condition of the house became worse no matter where the landlord got the house, he also believed that the properties contributed to the growing ice-poisoning problem in the town.
\"A lot of the places he rents out are sheds.
They should have been torn down.
Plastic and cardboard are on the windows.
He rented them out to anyone, and then the RCMP had to solve those problems.
They were steady in his house, \"said Berthelette, who drove through the town, pointing one by one to the landlord\'s property.
\"That\'s why you let a lot of people who are addicted to these drugs move in.
The landlord of this slum, he\'s leaving.
Something must be done.
This community is not important to him.
He\'s sick here.
\"Beltlet is not alone in determining that the landlord is a source of serious concern.
Three other residents interviewed by free media also gave him an independent name, saying everyone in town knew his property was a huge problem.
In particular, in his house, drug activity has repeatedly been described as a cause of concern.
The free media has tried many times to talk to the landlord, including trying to find him with the help of various residents and municipal officials.
These efforts have not been successful.
Meanwhile, some residents say the situation at the local Trailer Park
Owned by different landlords-
It is getting worse to the point of danger.
Berthelette believes that many trailers have boarded
The window is up and seems to be falling apart, filled with mold, posing a safety hazard to the people who live there.
\"These trailers are terrible.
\"These need to be condemned,\" he said . \"
Richard Graham, manager of the trailer park, admitted that when he took over the place in 2014, some tenants were selling drugs from trailers.
Since then, however, he said they had cleaned up the place and implemented more stringent screening procedures.
He also objected to the idea that the park should be condemned.
\"I think the trailer is in good condition.
Of course they are old trailers, but we have been fixing them all the time.
We have good tenants here now, no meth.
The people who caused all the trouble lived here. \"Graham said.
Sitting behind the desk of the municipal office, Cao Desiatnyk of the town admitted that there was a problem with the housing situation in the community --
Rental property for income identified by Berthelette and others.
\"There are a lot of problems facing this community, and they are all intertwined.
Our community is not alone at this point.
The closure of the factory is huge.
The addiction here is very serious.
Then, a lot of thefts were carried out to fuel addiction.
\"These are spokes on the same wheel,\" she said . \".
\"When we meet the RCMP, our community is red --
Almost every area of concern is marked.
But there is no doubt that this is a small community that has more rental properties than it should get.
The undeniable fact.
\"But residents think the problem is not just the rental property owned by private landlords.
Berthelette also said housing in Manitoba has become a serious disease.
Other locals interviewed by free media also expressed this concern.
A Manitoba Housing spokeswoman said in a written statement provided to free media that $90,000 was invested in repairing and maintaining 45 units it manages in Powerview
Pine fell in 2017 and is expected to fall this year.
She added that the agency has been an active partner in efforts to address illegal drug activities in the community.
Berthelette retorted that the provincial government did not help the town during difficult times, but rather-
Through its Crown company
It is actively making the situation worse.
Berthelette drove through a residential area and parked his van on the side of the road.
He pointed to a blue house on the block and said it was a housing unit in the town of Manitoba.
The lawn was full of crumpled beer cans and other rubbish.
A front window in the house was broken and the glass was broken and jagged;
The other is boarding. up.
\"The housing in Manitoba is disgusting to keep their buildings under these conditions.
They\'re one of our biggest problems here.
The window has been broken like this for more than a year. There was a (drug)
But they caught him four or five months ago . \"
\"Our tax funds are used to fund this project, so we have to put up with it.
What exactly is their screening process?
Another resident, who did not want to be named, said differently: \"Manitoba Housing, they are also landlords in the slums.
\"Powerview is more than just renting a property --
The share of Pine Falls exceeds its share.
In the municipal office, there is a large map of the merged community hanging on the wall, and Desiatnyk mentioned that there are many pharmacies for a town with a population of 1,300.
At the moment, there are at least three places to fill out the prescription, and the fourth one is said to be in production.
There is also a pharmacy on Sagkeeng.
Desiatnyk is not sure how highly concentrated pharmacies solve the problem of illegal drugs, but she suspects there is a link between the two.
\"We have a lot of pharmacies for such a small community.
This clearly has its own role in the drug problem.
\"People are not driving all the way from Selkirk to dispensing, so there is obviously a need,\" she said . \".
The two main pharmacies are located across the street, separated by crosswalk in the urban area known as Rupert landing.
Berthelette is no surprise that the region has become a hot spot in the illicit drug trade.
So, he says, it\'s also a place where you might find old needles that are abandoned on the ground.
Buying illegal drugs there is as easy as buying a pack of cigarettes, he said, and can often be made public like other cigarettes.
\"They do a lot of deals there, right where the pharmacy is located.
It\'s okay in a day.
\"You will see a lot of action going on there, especially at the end of the month,\" he said . \".
\"It\'s bad enough (that)
The town finally set up a camera to fight it.
\"Adel Adly, pharmacist manager at Adel First pharmacy, one of two pharmacies in Rupert landing, said he did not agree with the claim that there was any link between the number of pharmacies in town and the use of illegal drugs in the community.
\"All we do is prescribe from the doctor.
We always follow the rules.
There is a lot of negligence.
\"It\'s all regulated, controlled and documented,\" Adly said . \".
Songfalls health center is another place where you can fill out prescriptions in addition to writing prescriptions.
On April, the hospital was blocked by the mysterious long-term, which attracted the attention of the media.
Although the regional health authority around the lake is still nervous
The RCMP kept a lid on the cause of the blockade, which was later confirmed after a person allegedly threatened medical personnel.
According to many residents, this is not the first time doctors and nurses have been threatened in hospitals, and many locals suspect that the threat is related to drugs.
Like in the case of Winnipeg, there has been a surge in drug use (
Especially ice poison.
Violence and property crimes often increase.
When you rest
Carnival has always been cyclical in Powerview
Pine Falls, things get worse in spring.
Average rest time in the community
Statistics from the RCMP show that every two days in three months.
Not just rest time.
Ins are becoming more and more frequent and they are becoming more and more unstable.
By the Pine Falls of the city government, in a dark living room with curtains pulled, a woman --
People who the free media agree not to name names
Sitting in a recliner about the day of April when she came home to find her home broken.
This will be one of the catalyst for the town hall meeting.
On Easter Day, a retired grandmother went out to visit her daughter.
Before leaving, she decided it was not an overnight trip.
Given a series of recent breakthroughs
In the community, she told her daughter that she was not feeling well even if she was not at home one night.
But after a turkey dinner and the coaxing of her grandson, she changed her mind and spent the night.
The next morning, the first thing she did was drive home and drive into the driveway at about one o\'clock P. M. m.
She spent a total of 25 hours.
As she walked into the balcony, she saw her TV dragged out, next to a shopping bag containing frozen food and reusable items filled with clothes and personal items.
She understood two things at once.
First, she was robbed.
Second, the person who robbed her was unable to carry everything on the first trip and planned to return.
What she found inside shocked and upset her.
After she pushed the door open, she found her home blocked by items scattered behind the door frame.
It was totally confusing, so she turned over and couldn\'t see the floor.
\"I walked in and stopped immediately.
I\'m just upset.
I can\'t believe it.
Like, \'Oh, my God.
The place was looted.
In each room it is like putting things in the drum, turning around and then scattered together.
Every drawer turned over.
A few months later, she said: \"In my bedroom, it took only a whole day to find the bottom of the bed . \".
The food was thrown away, and then people walked on it.
There is a powder, some kind of white powder.
I don\'t know if it\'s corn starch.
I don\'t know if it\'s flour.
I don\'t know if it\'s drugs.
I can feel evil at home.
She called the RCMP and a few minutes later a police officer stopped.
She said even the mounted police who responded were shocked by the extent of the damage.
The police came in.
He just walked around the house and said, \'Oh my God. Oh my God.
\"Oh my God, every room he\'s in,\" she said.
She eventually followed the mounted police into her basement to investigate the damage.
As bad as the rest of the house.
At the bottom of the steps, the officer found two steel bars, similar in size and weight to the lead pipe.
They don\'t belong to her.
\"What will they do to these?
What would happen if I came back while they were still here?
Emotions control her voice, she said.
Nevertheless, she estimates that her property has lost $30,000 after the loss was processed.
In addition to her personal documents, passports and keys, electronics, food, personal items, biography heir and jewelry were all taken away.
Although most of them were not found, some of her jewelry appeared in the Pawnshop of Sagkeeng.
In the weeks after the robbery, she was not sure if she could stay at home again.
It took her more than a month to come back and move back after a priest blessed her home.
When asked how she insisted after the robbery, she shook her head against the recliner.
\"This is a violation,\" she said . \"
\"It\'s like being violated.
Even if I think about it, even after such a long time, I will still be emotional.
\"I no longer like to leave my house or even do a little gardening outside.
I have difficulty doing what I should.
So far, I swear I have post-traumatic stress.
\"Her house is not the only home that has been looted in a string of vandalism --This spring.
Another house was also destroyed in a similar manner, owned by a husband and wife who refused to comment on the matter.
In their case, however, in addition to the destruction of the house, it is said that the thief was also urinating throughout the house.
The whole place is now going to be blown up empty.
A few months after the incident, when the couple was contacted by free media, they were still staying at a local hotel and were undergoing house repairs. Following back-to-back break-
A town hall meeting was organized at the immigration office where the house was destroyed.
Berthelette says people are starting to feel unsafe at home and people who don\'t have a security system are starting to install them.
When he realized that he could also be a victim, bettlet thought his dog
A big boxer named Buster. deters would-be thieves.
\"These are not just normal breaks. ins.
These are brutal breakthroughs. ins.
It is not true how much they have destroyed.
It\'s not right that people are afraid to stay in their own homes alone.
My dog is here with me but you never know.
\"I may be a victim like anyone else,\" he said . \".
At the meeting, the RCMP told residents that they needed help to effectively combat crime and drug use in the town.
To this end, a community observation team is initially planned.
Since then, the town council has earmarked funds for the group and has set up a committee to organize volunteers.
Since then, the community has become more active and calls for RCMP to report suspicious activity have also increased.
Sitting in the conference room of Powerview
Staff Sgt Pine Falls Royal Mounted Police detachment.
Louis janviné, who led the unit, said the high vigilance of the residents led to the arrest.
\"We have more people reporting suspicious activity.
We may not be able to answer every question. call)
\"But in fact, they are looking at us outside and we can respond as much as we can, we are arresting them and we are making charges because of these calls,\" said Jenvenne . \".
\"We have more people watching and listening outside, and we can deal with the problem more directly.
This is a very important deterrent.
People know that someone is being watched.
This is important.
\"At the end of June, the RCMP carried out a major drug case for the relief of residents, accusing four people of involvement in Manitoba ice and cocaine trafficking gangs.
These have been accused of distributing drugs in Winnipeg, Lark du Bonner, Fort Alexander, and the First Nations of saguken.
When the list of defendants was published, many residents were shocked to see one of the names: Christine Dube, 35, daughter of Powerview --
Dubrovnik by mayor Bev.
The mayor did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
\"I think people are a little shocked about it.
You don\'t think people you know will get involved in something like this.
Especially the mayor\'s daughter.
You know where she came from.
They are good people.
She just fell in the crack . \"
Desiatnyk agrees with the local RCMP that increasing community engagement and emerging community observation is a positive development.
After the factory was closed, residents evacuated from previous tensions, she saidknit community.
\"The closure of the factory is a catalyst for all this.
It took so long for the community to see the impact of the disengagement.
If there is any benefit to this mass crime, it is that the community is starting to re-
\"Get involved,\" she said.
Even now, almost a decade after the factory was closed, the future of the community seems to be closely related to the past.
On April, the town was informed that a development company had purchased 1,200-acre mill site.
Since then, the company has issued a logo that says: Pine Falls Science Park is coming soon.
Desiatnyk said that when a meeting of the new council was held after the municipal elections in October, it was planned to have them sit down and focus on long-term issues
Long-term planning of the town.
\"The factory left almost ten years ago, and it was really hard.
We need to find our identity.
Even consolidation is tough.
Town of Powerview-
\"Pine Falls, it is not suitable for grant applications,\" said Pine atnyk . \".
\"But when the new committee meets, the point will be: well, you have a magic wand, money is not an obstacle, what do you want to see happening?
What will this town look like in 10 years?
Then let\'s see what happens.
\"Although it is not clear what happened at the factory site, the news has sparked optimism that a good day is coming.
A paper town, after its demise, can only find rebirth in the ashes of the mill, which makes sense.
Berthelette sits on his deck overlooking his property, the lifeblood of his community for nearly a century, watching his dog wander around the yard.
Then his gaze rested on the lawn, pointing to the water of the Winnipeg River, where the sun burned brightly in the cloudless sky.
\"You know, my campaign committee is trying to keep this place going.
We need to fight to keep this place.
Someone bought the site of the factory, so maybe we can buy something there again.
What we need is work.
\"Wise,\" he said before blowing the dog in front of him.
\"I like this community.
So people like this town.
It\'s rough, it\'s really.
But you have to keep fighting for this place. \"ryan.
Thorpe @ freepressmb.