Issue: Safety and Social Disorder
I believe this to be the Number One issue in our city at this time. Recent incidents of vandalism and violence in our downtown have caused great concern, together with issues of petty crime and social disorder in all areas of the city. Unfortunately these often involve homeless people, and it has been estimated that roughly 80% of these people have mental health/addiction problems. For me, there are two angles of approach on this: One is to support our citizens, businesses, and visitors by increasing budget to supply more security resources on the street. Council has already committed to hiring more RCMP and community safety officers, along with bylaw staff, bike patrol, and a "clean team" to tackle vandalism, as well as a vandalism relief grant for businesses. We have to continue on this path in consultation with local business owners and DNBIA. I would also like to see a review of appropriate bylaws that could be brought into play. The second angle of approach is to continue to push hard for the provincial government to supply housing with proper supports including facilities to provide secure complex care for those that need it, and to take action to get chronic offenders off the streets. The city can offer land on which the province can build necessary supportive and complex care facilities.