JLC patrons afraid: Fontana

KATE DUBINSKI -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:13 PM ET

Rowdy fans waiting outside the John Labatt Centre last night said they were more concerned with who would win the hockey game than with violent crime downtown.

Many fans heading to the London Knights game against the Owen Sound Attack were surprised mayoral candidate Joe Fontana said Londoners were too scared to go downtown or to stay in the core after concerts and sporting events.

Here's what some fans had to say:

- "I feel safe after the game. I come downtown for the (London Knights), then I go home to bed," said Lorraine McLean, joking she wouldn't go out to bars because it was past her bedtime.

- "I'm not afraid -- I've lived in Toronto. London's pretty tame compared to that," said Shawn Heatherton.

- "I might be a little afraid at night because there are a lot of creeps," said Taelor McDougall.

- "Violent crime -- it's a red herring. There's too much homelessness. Didn't Fontana used to be the housing minister?" Ken Henry said. (Fontana was the labour and housing minister under former prime minister Paul Martin.)

- "It is pretty scary after dark, downtown or not. At one time I did go out, but that was when I was younger and went to bars, so that could be part of it," Vicky Dixon said.

- "I would go out if the kids weren't with me," piped in her sister, Toni Demelo.

- "It's hard to get parking. That's a bigger problem" than crime," said one woman as she hurried to the rink.


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