Bikes going to North Spirit Lake
April 15, 2010: Volume 37 #8, Page B4
North Spirit Lake will soon receive a couple shipments of refurbished bicycles.
“We obviously need to fix them up, because they are not rideable in their current condition. A lot of them need either brakes or pedals or seats or chains or all of the above,” said Tammy Bobyk, executive director of Shkoday Abinojiiwak Obimiwedoon (Aboriginal Head Start) in Thunder Bay. “Our first goal is to get 50 to 75 fixed up and sent to North Spirit Lake.”
Bobyk said her organization plans to hold a community effort to repair the bicycles. She is looking for volunteers from the community of Thunder Bay to help repair the bicycles on her organization’s grounds.
“There is a lot of space here to spread the bikes out and start working on them,” Bobyk said, explaining that community members have already expressed interest in helping to repair the bicycles but she is still looking for more volunteers. “I would say there is close to 300 bikes.
“They came up in two trailer loads.”
The bicycles were among the thousands forfeited during a civil case involving a property in Toronto owned by Igor Kenk.
The bicycles and bike accessories were sent to four organizations across Ontario to benefit youth including: Shkoday Abinojiiwak Obimiwedoon, North Spirit Lake, Toronto Foundation for Student Success Beyond 3:30 Program, and the Cabbagetown Youth Centre.
“I think that everyone who is familiar with this story will agree that putting these stolen bikes into the hands of children, youth and people who need them is a fitting end to this case,” said Ontario Attorney General and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Chris Bentley. “Some of the bicycles and parts will be used to teach bicycle repair skills to at-risk youth and others will be delivered to a remote community where bikes are rare and most children would not experience the joy of having one.”
Ontario’s civil forfeiture law, the Civil Remedies Act, allows the Attorney General to ask the civil court for an order to freeze, take possession of, and forfeit to the Crown, property that is determined to be a proceed or an instrument of unlawful activity.
Since Nov. 2003, $12.9 million in property has been forfeited to the Crown under provincial civil forfeiture law. Additionally, about $40.7 million in property is frozen pending the completion of civil forfeiture proceedings.
Civil forfeiture proceeds have funded about $1.2 million in compensation to victims of unlawful activity and $3.4 million in grants to law enforcement agencies.
I feel a greater sense of hope and optimism these days for the future when I talk to many of our young First Nation people. There are still many hurdles and...