Wherever I go in our riding, residents single out community safety as their top concern.
Toronto Police crime statistics rank Toronto Centre (51st Division) as the most dangerous neighbourhood in Toronto. Since 2015, there has been little progress on making our community safer. In fact, every single major crime indicator – Break and Enter, Auto Theft, Assault, Robbery, Sexual Violation, Theft Over and Murder – has significantly increased during this period. 2019 is only half over, and crime rates have already exceeded the totals for the entire of 2018.
Toronto Centre is in the grips of an opioid, housing and affordability crisis that has left all residents vulnerable. Addicted residents are at risk, due to a lack of adequate services and support, while many residents are left feeling like prisoners in their homes and very unsafe in their community.
Community safety is a top priority of Toronto Centre residents, so it must be a top priority for their representatives. We cannot afford for our Member of Parliament to be a bystander. Instead, our Member should be a true partner to the community, working with residents and organisations and ready to deploy federal resources to support made-in-Toronto Centre solutions. Unfortunately, our current Member of Parliament has failed to provide leadership on community safety or to prioritise the issue in any meaningful way. As a result, crime continues to get worse and our neighbourhoods remain unsafe.
Toronto Centre desperately needs a comprehensive Community Safety Action Plan that addresses the root causes of crime and that includes housing, employment and a 360-degree Drug Strategy that covers harm reduction, treatment, recovery and mental health. Toronto Centre residents understand what their community needs and can be trusted to create a plan that will work for residents. Nevertheless, an effective Toronto Centre Community Safety Action Plan will require every level of government to get behind it and a Member of Parliament that will fight to see it implemented.