Let’s Not Lose Our Safe City


Frightening words from Supt. Don Sweet of the Ottawa Police Service.

Sweet says that the 22 homicides in Ottawa, two off the city’s all-time record in 1995, might be “the new normal.”

As Ottawans we can’t accept that. Safety is one of the basic requirements of a successful community. The new normal is not good enough.

Ottawans expect leadership from city hall, city staff and the OPS on this.

Police, politicians and social workers need to get together to provide city council with a concrete plan to deal with this rise in violence. No political window dressing here … a real plan with a definable measure of success or failure.

One of the reasons for a declining crime rate in Canada over the past couple of decades is the aging of the population. Seniors are unlikely to be breaking basement windows to steal your X-box. Thus the record number of homicides was in 1995. Society was younger then.

Given the aging population, perhaps Ottawa’s increase in violent crime is specific to this city. That’s unacceptable.

When people consider basic services in a community, they think of roads, transit, water, sewage, snow plowing, electricity, garbage collection and the like. But safety is a basic service, too. Maybe the most basic service.

A city cannot be successful if its citizens are walking around in fear. Businesses won’t locate in an unsafe community.

City hall must develop a short-term and long-term plan to deal with growing violence in this city.

Ottawans are proud and thankful for our safe neighbourhoods. We cannot let this slip away from us through political inaction.



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2 thoughts on “Let’s Not Lose Our Safe City

  1. Crime and violence have been around since the first person picked up a rock and hit someone else with it. That being said, some violence will always be with us; but we can address some of the root causes.

    – provide education – not just math, reading, writing. Grade schools and high schools perhaps should put a little less emphasis on being politically correct and put more into philosophical discussions about ethics and morals.

    – provide every citizen with decent food, shelter and clothing with a bit left over for some luxuries that maybe provide some enjoyment for life. We must stop spreading the big lie. It is not true that all one needs to do is work hard and all the world can be your oyster for the taking. This line of lies must come to an end. We do not have full employment, we never have had full employment. Therefore, some people get left behind. When you are left behind you start to feel hopeless and forgotten by mainstream society. Some people are enticed to join with others in groups and activities that provide a different kind of opportunity.

    A quick fix for problems, that we created ourselves, is not going to happen.


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