Governor General Julie Payette joins the Bear Clan patrol

The Bear Clan Patrol is known for their efforts finding missing youth and working to keep Winnipeg streets safe.

Governor General Julie Payette had a busy day in Winnipeg — after visiting St. Boniface University and The University of Manitoba, she ended her day with the Bear Clan Patrol.

Payette got to see firsthand what volunteers do in the north-end neighborhood of Lord Selkirk Park.

According to their website, The Bear Clan says their group “is a community-based solution to crime prevention, providing a sense of safety, solidarity and belonging to both its members and to the communities they serve.”

“I had no idea of all that is happening in the neighborhood — the volunteers, the engagement, the generosity, the perseverance because it takes time… you can’t be there and not be there the next day,” Payette said.

Bear Clan Patrol co-founder James Favel said he chose the specific route so the Governor General would get a better understanding of what they’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis.

“We had a young woman pass away because of meth and then her family moved down to 562 and her mother was murdered there just a year later. So these are the things we’re dealing with in our community on an ongoing basis and I wanted her to know that and understand that,” Favel said.

The Governor General says she will take her experiences from the patrol and share them with other communities. She says she hopes the Bear Clan movement will create ripples all over the country.

 The meth problem is a real threat for people in Winnipeg. Drug trafficking problem is on a rise in Canada for the last couple of years. Winnipeg authorities started a full-scale investigation into city`s meth problem. As per Winnipeg Police, there is a spike in meth-related crime incidents, like property theft, residential break-ins, unreasonable anger towards each other (meth users) and other people around them, violent attacks, some ending up in lethal outcomes for victims, lately there were three deadly beatings in just three days in the city, one of the incidents is already connected to meth use.

Winnipeg police are praising Bear Clan Manitoba volunteers for finding and turning over a “significant amount” of meth on Friday. “Our largest find to date. 5.87 grams of methamphetamine that will not be consumed in our community,” Bear Clan Patrol Inc. tweeted Friday night.

For the past four years, the group has worked out of a shared space. That will soon change. The group announced on their Facebook page they will soon move their operations to a dedicated space at 584 Selkirk Avenue in November.

The Bear Clan Patrol became a driving force for community safety in Winnipeg following the death of Tina Fontaine in 2014.

Prior to the teen's tragic death, the Bear Clan Patrol was a group of 12 people sitting around a boardroom table with an idea and running patrols largely in Winnipeg’s North End.

Methamphetamine is a real problem in Winnipeg, the majority of people involved are youth and older teenagers.  There is a study conducted by Winnipeg Police department about how people on meth are no longer productive, so they have to find other ways to get money to fuel their addiction and get more drugs. People on meth turn to pity theft and other, more serious crimes. Bike theft, residential break-ins, garage theft is now a rising problem in the city. Just recently there were a number of bike thefts, most of them were arrested later by Winnipeg Police and incidents linked to meth usage.

City authorities putting a lot of effort and pretty large funding dedicated to study and overcome Winnipeg`s meth problem.

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Winnipeg meth Bear Clan Julie Payette
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