Every Neighbourhood Is A Safe Neighbourhood

Safety and security are so important for all of our residents, and I believe every neighbourhood in Saskatoon should be a safe neighbourhood.

In 2020, safety has taken on a new meaning as we work to keep each other safe from COVID-19. We are also addressing serious safety challenges on our streets driven by trauma, poverty, addictions and mental health crises. Cities across the country are facing these same challenges.

We are in a crucial moment where the collaborative approach I have taken is bringing agencies, government, Indigenous organizations, and business together to deliver outcomes.

And we are seeing the results. 

I believe building community safety and well-being requires three steps be taken at the same time – this has been a focus of my work so far, and there is more work to do.

I am committed to reducing homicides, getting more people off the streets and into housing, and more youth finishing school and getting jobs instead of turning to gangs, and fixing unsafe properties.

These are my three goals for the next four years:

  1. Strengthen police - community partnerships
  2. Address the root causes of crime
  3. Make every neighbourhood safe

My Record

  • I worked with the Board of Police Commissioners to create the Safe Community Action Alliance, of which the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) is a funding partner and key member. The SCAA is a network of 35 agencies working in unprecedented coordination to better address the underlying causes of crime in the first place. We are seeing results. (https://safecommunityactionalliance.com/)
  • I continue to sit on the Board of Police Commissioners and in June of this year, the SPS created the Vulnerable Persons Unit – pulling together the police and Crisis Team, the HUB table, the Strengthening Families program and Crime Free Multi-Housing to redirect people towards community supports and away from jails.
  • SPS has partnered with Okihtcitawak Patrol Group to support their very important community-led patrol work within core neighbourhoods.
  • SPS has developed an Elders Advisory Council, the Police Advisory Committee on Diversity, and a Women’s Advisory Circle to have direct input from community members
  • SPS’s newly formed Community Mobilization Unit is incorporating new models of training and community partnership to provide a deeper model of community-based policing in the Pleasant Hill/Riversdale communities.
  • Also in June this year, I put forward motions at the Board of Police Commissioners to advocate for improved police oversight and a data-driven analysis of how the police are filling the gaps in a broken system of care.
  • I initiated a collaborative working group to discuss Downtown Safety and work with the Lighthouse in developing strategies for decentralizing services in the Downtown. There are a number of plans in the works right now.
  • My office led the Smart Cities Challenge proposal for using data and technology to coordinate services for Indigenous youth and break the cycle of Indigenous Youth Incarceration. We were in the top 10 finalists of over 200 proposals across Canada.
  • The City has undertaken a comprehensive approach to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action in partnership with the community.
  • I initiated the development of a City plan to implement the calls to Justice from the Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

My goals for the next four years:

1.STRENGTHEN POLICE - COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

  • Expand the Police and Crisis Team model so that more addictions and health workers are available as the first line of response
  • Continue the work of the Community Safety and Well-Being Partnership to strengthen police and community partnerships and ensure a coordinated approach with the Provincial Government
  • Build on the work of the new Community Mobilization Unit and the partnership with the Ohkitchitawak Patrol Group to provide more relationship based policing in areas hardest hit by crime to provide continuity in investigations and deeper partnerships in the community. 

2. ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSES OF CRIME

It is hard to loosen the grip of a life of crime. The current justice, corrections, social services, and health systems too often deal with broken people who cannot break free of destructive patterns. It takes a whole-of-community approach to break old habits and equip people with the capacities and opportunities to chart a new path.

Tackle the Mental Health and Addictions Crisis:

  • Implement the Safe Community Action Alliance recommendations on crystal meth
  • Work with the Province to establish a Drug Court with proper connection to programs and facilities to be successful 
  • Create crystal meth and fentanyl-specific treatment options. It is well established that 28-day treatment models are failing

Take Next Steps in Addressing Homelessness, the Lighthouse and Downtown Safety:

Implement the Saweyhihtotan Partnership: This Indigenous-led intensive case management approach works directly with people who are on the streets and helps them navigate into housing.  This is the successful approach used in the relocation of people from City Centre Inn and Suites. This partnership is led by the Saskatoon Tribal Council and jointly funded by the Provincial Government and City of Saskatoon, with support from many community partners.

Jointly lead the Wahkohtowin Task Force: This task force brings together the Ministries of Social Services and Health, the City of Saskatoon, the Saskatoon Tribal Council, business leadership, Safe Community Action Alliance, and Saskatoon Police and Fire Services. It will develop a new shelter model for Saskatoon including the relocation of some of the shelter services at the Lighthouse to reduce the pressure on the downtown and provide a model that better meets the needs of people on the streets, the Downtown and the community as a whole. 

Leverage federal dollars through the National Housing Strategy and recently announced Rapid Housing Initiative to build the solutions we need here.

Engage Youth:

  • Provide help now, not later - expand the Smart Cities Challenge project (Connect YXE) that puts information and supports in the hands of youth, their families, and their support networks when they need it the most;
  • More facilities to support and empower youth to make safe choices in the evenings;
  • Develop a social enterprise program that creates opportunities for youth to join the workforce;
  • Youth helping youth – engage young leaders to help develop the solutions that will work for them and their peers.

3. MAKE NEIGHBOURHOODS SAFE

Fix up boarded up houses and nuisance properties:

We heard from neighbourhoods how boarded up houses were creating significant concerns and responded.  In 2020 the Fire Department took action and has demolished 14 houses and through enforcement orders 20 more have been fixed up as safe housing again. 

We have also added resources to catch up with a significant backlog of property maintenance complaints.  I am committed to supporting greater coordination and rapid intervention to ensure these property concerns are dealt with to build safer neighbourhoods.  

Build greater coordination with Community Associations for Neighbourhood Safety: 

Harness the capacity and local knowledge of community associations to plan and implement neighbourhood safety initiatives

Make a donation

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Phone: 306-955-2100
Campaign office: Suite 155-123 2nd Ave S, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 7E6