Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad
Vandals hit the playground

Iqaluit day care takes action

Christine Kay
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Aug 05/02) - First Steps Daycare in Iqaluit has been the victim of vandalism and its director is taking action to stop it.

NNSL Photo

Alison Cormier, director of First Steps Daycare in Iqaluit, is upset that someone burned a hole through the climber at the playground. - Christine Kay/NNSL photo

The playground, where 40 children play each day, is one of the day care's most valued assets, especially during the warm summer months. And that's where the vandalism is happening.

"If that playground gets damaged to the point that we can't use it, then that's 40 kids in the community that can't use it," said director Alison Cormier.

The worst crime occurred when a climber was destroyed to the point that it had to be thrown away.

"It looks like it was melted with something other then a cigarette or a lighter. It must have been a torch or something," explained Cormier.

The climber was valued at about $400 plus the cost of shipping.

Since the summer started, workers at the day care have had to clean up a slide that was urinated on and pick up numerous cigarette butts and even a crowbar that was found in the fenced-in area. Offensive words, inappropriate for any child to see, were also written on the slide.

"I'd be more than willing to leave it open so that people in the community could bring their kids and then leave, but I just can't do that. Not with things like this happening," said Cormier.

The day care's playground will now be monitored by a video camera and police have been notified. Cormier said if the vandals are found, the day care will press charges. But she hopes that people in the community will help out by notifying authorities if they witness any vandals.

Open since 1998, the playground has been fenced off since the vandalism started.

"What's next? We're worried about what's next," said Cormier.

Day care staff have managed to clean up the damage to the playground before the kids arrive in the morning and they hope it won't come to the point where they have to explain to the kids what is happening.

Cormier said they just don't need to know that someone is trying to hurt their playground.