Editorial: The State of Thunder Bay “Gangsters Paradise”

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(THUNDER BAY, ON) – 2020 was off to a running start in terms of crime. The city’s first stabbing happened within minutes and a child was the victim of the first murder hours later. Three stabbings, one fatal, erupted before 8:00 am on January 1st, 2020. All of these incidents have connections to substance abuse and out-of-control addictions.

A very tough-to-prosecute means of killing has taken a couple of lives this year. People that use drugs are susceptible to this manner of committing murder. Simply overdosing someone by sprinkling fentanyl or carfentanil in their drugs is becoming more and more common. Police are seemingly lost as there is next to no evidence left behind to lay charges. It’s rare, but other police services across the country have managed to lay charges in similar incidents. Those incidents differ as someone present may have informed police of what happened or there were text messages implicating someone. Once again, these incidents have deep connections to substance abuse and out-of-control addictions.

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Trap houses are in every neighbourhood across the city, some are across the street from other trap houses and down the road from even more trap houses. You are never more than a minute’s walk from various drugs and southern Ontario gangsters. Families are losing members to addiction, perhaps not all through death but by the immense and life-changing lifestyle that follows an out-of-control drug addiction. As these people’s lives fall apart and money gets funnelled down south through the multiple gangs in town trafficking drugs, local businesses are left to deal with armed robberies, thefts and various crimes happening on their property either targeting them or just in general.

The city’s daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts, etc, get lured into “that gang life” by flashy southern Ontario gang members flashing big stacks of money and talks of trips and luxurious lifestyles. These women then often get fooled into hanging around and using drugs, racking up a large, insurmountable debt with the gang members due to their drug use. It is at this point that the woman fears for her life and becomes extremely vulnerable, as everyone knows there have been numerous killings and disappearances in town due to drug debts.

Entering the sex-trade to pay off the debt is offered and “no” isn’t really an option at this point. As the woman performs sex acts on strangers and her debt begins to lower, the gang members will continue to flood the woman with drugs and act as if they are doing her a favour by loaning her the drugs. The reality is that these drugs are given in order to keep the woman’s debt existent, thus keeping the woman under their thumb. Very few women manage to pay off their debt entirely and the extra-unlucky ones are transported to southern Ontario and are rarely heard from again. Once again, these incidents have deep connections to substance abuse and out-of-control addictions.

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Over 180 homes in Thunder Bay are being occupied by gangsters for the purpose of trafficking drugs out of. This number can actually be way higher due to the nature and difficulty getting accurate information regarding drug trafficking activities. The most often method used by gangsters to take over their homes is once again leveraging debt on their clients. What we have learned is that people who frequent existing trap houses are building up relationships with the gang members that they are purchasing their drugs from. When the gang member finds out that certain people have homes that a ripe for being taken over, they will begin to loan drugs to that person and act as if they are friends and doing them a favour. Once again, the debt becomes insurmountable and the offer of allowing the gang to sell out of their home is tabled. A person, already wrapped up in addiction will often see this as a sweet deal, their debt gets paid and the drugs are now closer, readily accessible, etc.

One thing everyone needs to remember is that these southern Ontario gang members are not here to make friends, they are here to make money and you don’t matter to them. They laugh when people die from their drugs and they experiment with different mixtures of drugs in order to maximize addiction rates.

Thunder Bay is overwhelmed and the takeover of Thunder Bay by these southern Ontario gangs has been completed. Our Police Chief Sylvie Hauth has reached out to the government and other avenues for the additional funding desperately needed to battle the ongoing drugs and gangs problem, to no avail. The Ford government provided Ottawa and Toronto with additional money to battle these same gangs, but not Thunder Bay. This will have the natural and expected effect of putting pressure on these gangs on their home turf, pushing even more of them up north and into the Thunder Bay and surrounding communities.

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Officers with the Thunder Bay Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, Anishnawbe Police Service, Nishnawbe Aski Police Service and other agencies, excluding the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, have all managed to arrest and charge a large number of gang members in and around Thunder Bay. The Thunder Bay District Jail is bursting at the seems with southern Ontario gang members and locals alike.

Numerous people I’ve spoken to that have spent substantial time at the jail tell me that gang members that have been arrested and court-ordered not to communicate with their co-accused, are housed in the same cell blocks and are communicating with each other, due to the lack of room to separate everyone from others that have these orders placed on them. Complicating matters is attempting to keep inmates safe, assaults and violence is a common occurrence at the jail and is often gang-motivated. A new jail has been put on the backburner indefinitely.

Frustrating matters further is the apparent push from a number of local Justice of the Peace’s and their apparent want to release gun-slinging, fentanyl-pushing, forced sex-trafficking, gang members from jail. These releases from jail are only further justified by our over-capacity jail.

So what’s being done?

In short, nothing. Nothing meaningful is happening. With every trap house bust that happens, citizens rejoice and cheer. What actually happens is these southern Ontario gangs send up more gangsters to fill these spots and more trap houses are started up. Great work by police busting these homes, only to get slapped in the face when these same thugs are released days or a month later, often getting arrested within days or weeks later, for the same matters or breaching bail. This is common.

City hall appears to be capitalizing on the fact the city is overwhelmed with crime by setting up another “committee”. This will likely be yet another circle jerk where more of their friends get to be involved in the non-sense that unravels every Monday night down at Donald Street. Nothing meaningful in short. Roundabouts, a soccerplex and grandstanding is expected.

A certain city councillor who was involved in two other once-great news-reporting startups (one that is now defunct and the second one is neutered, reduced to media release reporting and matters pertaining to far north First Nations.) attempted to have me reduce my reporting on crime pertaining to Thunder Bay. He straight up asked me and mentioned how he would be able to secure all sorts of businesses advertising dollars if I did. He further mentioned how my crime reporting is hurting the city. I found this interesting as he is literally driving the city and I’m just reporting on it’s crash. I see this similar as me reporting on a car crash and the driver saying “don’t tell anyone I crashed, it makes me look like I don’t know how to drive.”. How about you work on fixing the problems instead of hiding them? This city went to the toilet on your watch.

Thunder Bay has been taken over. Local drug dealers who were once proud to be local and supply clean drugs are now forced into trafficking southern Ontario poison, often laced with all sorts of chemicals. Overdoses are through the roof due to this and other factors. Locals who refuse to sell for the gangs become targets and some have gone missing, shot, stabbed, or killed if they do not comply.

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Let’s not attempt to hide what is happening to our once great city, we need to scream from the rooftops for help until someone with balls hears the call and answers it. Our brave police officers are overworked, overwhelmed, and deserve more funds and tools to handle this situation. They are currently attempting to mow a football field with scissors.

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Further, rapid access to in-patient rehabilitation services needs to be figured out and implemented. Our region’s failure to address the growing addiction problem is only feeding right into the southern Ontario gangs plans. Thunder Bay’s detox facility is often at capacity or has a long waitlist to get in. Numerous people have told me that getting sober in Thunder Bay is a struggle and that meaningful resources are almost never available when needed.

Thunder Bay is known as “Gangsters Paradise” down south. Where else can they go where the drugs sell at 4x the price, the jails are bursting (which results in quick releases.) and the police are overwhelmed? Our city needs to change so that it is not so inviting for these gangs. Share your thoughts in the comments.

More new faces are needed at City Hall.

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22 Replies to “Editorial: The State of Thunder Bay “Gangsters Paradise””

  1. 100% totally correct Pino…..GREAT EDITORIAL…keep telling the world how bad it really is here and perhaps City Hall will do something about it… and then again, maybe not

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  2. Great article Pino!

    “A certain city councillor”. Let me guess??? A goof with initials A. R.

    Never get between greasy entry level politicians and their opportunities to line their pockets.

    Keep up the good work and don’t let these slimy grease balls keep you from doing such an excellent job. You’re the city’s ONLY source of news that exposes the absolute state of drug induced social decay, violence and corruption in Dumpster Bay.

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  3. Very interesting story I would like to know who the councilor’s name that said this to you, I bet alot of people would. The reporting you do Pino is awesome and for peoples safety please do not stop.

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  4. Fuckin A right on.
    We should consider a citizens’ strike to lobby for jail space and detox/rehab. Seriously. The gov is going to sit on their ass and city council is INEPT. Trans Canada cuts through here we should use it to our advantage. First a stop on the highway blockade, show that we want change and no one is helping. We must take it for ourselves.

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  5. You keep up what you are doing Pino. Everyone who reads your column appreciates what you do. More over we appreciate all the hard work our police do to try and stem the tide of these dirt bag turds infiltrating our city. They are putting their lives in danger every time they go on shift. Keep stuffing them in jail. Keep it on lockdown so the staff is somewhat safe and when these gangsters start killing them selves the province may start to listen. Highly unlikely but ……
    Residents please be diligent. If you know of a drug house report it. A police presence may slow it down. We have had no violence or break ins since the one on broadmore was raided last year.
    Once again Thank You to over hard working under appreciated Officers. Keep up the good work and people of Thunder Bay call text or email your local and provincial representatives in government. Let’s bug the hell outta there to get something done before someone decides its open season on southern Ontario drug dealers

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  6. I grew up in southern Ontario and I worked in both BC and Alberta for 15 years. People in Thunder bay need to stop being snowflakes about this because these gangs and even much more violent genres have been operating all over Canada for decades. Every single town and city of any real size in Southern Ontario had been taken over by these gangs.

    I found a great way to deal with them and that is to stay away from hard drugs. It’s really that simple. These guys aren’t killing soccer moms and upstanding citizens, they are killing off whores and drug addicts. You could walk right by these guys on the street and nothing will happen unless you make it happen.

    “Oh but what about the girls they’re turning into sex slaves”. These weak minded impressionable people know PRECISELY what they are getting into when they go into these homes. They’re there because they saw gangsters on tv and want some BBC. These people are morons and if their friends and family allow them to do this, oh well.

    What I find really amusing about this is that first Nations bands continue to send their evacuees to the midtown. Yeah, that is a super good idea isn’t it? Because thunder bay needs more drug addicted First Nations people.

    Bottom line is that everywhere else has been fucked up like this for decades, it was bound to happen so stop being over dramatic and acting like we are the only small community affected by these gangsters.

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    1. Bill Stevenson, FYI The people in this town are not a bunch of snowflakes. Many people have lived here way before you and they know what it used to be like. This area used to be a real gem and a great place to raise your kids, work and be able to enjoy a safe happy lifestyle. Fast forward to today and this town is now a festering cesspool filled with way too much crap. And it is afffecting ALL the citizens here in one way or another. And it is not just the folks who have lost one of their family members as the result of an OD. Innocent peoples houses are being broken into, people are being accosted and assaulted in public places, murders are taking place, the list goes on. It is easy for you to stay away from getting involved in drugs or human trafficking because you, being a normal adult are not easily duped like so many others are. I know too well what is happening in other major cities in this country and I really do not give a rats ass because I dont live there. I live here and I only focus on cleaning up my own backyard. Being the crime capital of the country is not causing us to be overly dramatic. It is causing us to be very concerned about the present situation in our community and the future for our families here. Sure this is 2020 and this town could expect to have it share of criminal activity like other places. Only the problem happens to be that this town IS worse than other places and it is not showing any signs of improving anytime soon. In fact it is getting much more dangerous everyday

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  7. It can be fixed. Shoot them first or heaven forbid deport them and they die there. The jails will be empty. They had years (3yrs operating in plain sight . The leader road a bike all over town collecting and delivering year after year. Keeping the hookers fed with poison and locals. He was one of the only nig***s seen on the streets during the day) They went under the radar or just ignored allowing them time to dig in and destroy the city. Only place I refused to let my daughter attend university. The city is a cesspool and the police get fucked if they do their job at every turn. It can be fixed and a lot of loved ones will be destroyed doing it. Not to be racist but 90% of the young blacks in thunder bay are ghetto gangsters from Toronto and Ottawa. We are the minority and fighting a losing battle. Tax free money ya buddy.

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  8. I’m on a rant tonight! So, I’ll state it again. Vigilantism…plain and simple. You have to beat a gangsta’ upside the head…so be it! When they have citizens fearful to walk, talk or be in public, what other choice do we have? This has gone on too long ever since we became ‘soft’. Wish Assef was still kicking because he’d make it a by-law!

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  9. a BIG part of the problem is…..Thunder Bay is a hub…..a gateway to All the northern communites…and…AND….a gateway East-West…all Canadian vehicular traffic must pass through Thunder Bay to go east or west…….an unsolvable dilemma??…..i really don’t know…..but, that’s my take….

  10. I agree totally with your story 100% our once beautiful city has turned into a ghetto for sure. No matter where you go there are trap houses bust one and another one takes over within hours. It is a sad situation for sure they have destroyed families and do not even care about it. They all come from the slums down east and have been brought up this way. Most of these drug dealers are no more the kids ages 19 and up into their 20’s. For every dealer they take down a dozen more move in to take their place. It seems we cannot get ahead of them no matter how hard the police work to get rid of them. I hate to even tell people where I am from. But the saddest part is that they are taking over all the small places but Thunder Bay seems to be baring the brunt of it all.

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  11. The city is looking to the Ford Gvt for money to help with the problem. The city wants the province to build them another jail. Two citizens groups that I am aware of are working very hard to incorporate and get a charitable number. With the number they have a better chance of getting grants. A social club in TBay is trying to get a charitable number for their organization. They can give charitable receipts then and have a better chance of getting donations and maybe a grant.
    Forget waiting for someone else to help us. Get off your duff and help yourself.

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    1. T. Kelly:

      Starting a charity to find money to build a prison??? That was a joke right?
      If not, that’s right up there with the dumbest shit I’ve ever read. A “Go Fund Me” page would be a much better idea right? SMH!

      Step right up folks! Joe’s Prison is now officially open for business. Clean rooms, shower facilities, three squares a day at absolutely no cost to occupants!!

    1. Just start killing them what is the problem they have no problem killing bring in the army we are in a war . Is that not why we pay taxes . Why are our soldiers fighting crime in other countries

  12. Pino you tell it like it is and you credit who should be.If it wasn’t for you we would not know what is really going on in Thunder Bay and area.Keep up the good work.

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