If you are simple, 10 new officers sounds like a good idea. And it is but it won’t solve the guns-and-gangs problem that have arisen during the eight years Watson has been mayor. Such woes are far more complicated than 10 officers. It just looks effective so Watson and his compatriots on council will get re-elected on Oct. 22.
You see, police officers don’t stop gun violence. They are the last resort when gun violence is out of control. When violence reaches the police, it means the social work, the family, the community and educational systems have failed.
Watson is incapable of understanding this because his solutions are meant to re-elect him, not to stop the gun violence. His solutions are meant to achieve 30-second sound bites, not real solutions.
Watson doesn’t care about real solutions. He cares about actions that will re-elect him. His idea of solving guns-and-gangs is to hire 10 officers who won’t solve the problem and hold a couple of urgent press conferences at which nothing happens. Image is everything.
Former Ottawa police chief Vern White once said that when violence reaches the need for police, all else before has been ineffective. He said he would love 12 more officers when he was chief but if someone could assure him that the money for those officers would be applied to social workers instead, he would pass on the hires.
White, a Conservative, is practical enough to understand the roots of the guns-and-gangs problem in our community. Free thinkers, debate, innovation, expertise and free thought produce long-term solutions. Debate has been quelled by Watson at city hall and the result has been sloppiness and incompetence at the municipal level. It has reached a crisis point if anyone bothered to pay attention in the community or the media.
Witness the rush to pass legislation on the Chateau Laurier addition and the hurried report on zoning and height restrictions. No fuss, no muss. What people don’t know means no lost votes for the incumbents or His Worship himself. Thus the rush to approval. The goal is no controversy in an election year not doing what is right.
This brings us to the Woodridge Court Child Care Centre which is slated to be closed on Aug. 31. The action follows a long pattern of Watson failing to understand the value of day cares and his denigration of them.
New Canadians and working class citizens need day care so they can be free to make a living and give their children the tools to become successes as so many people from these groups have. Day care is a fundamental building brick in in individual and community achievement.
Watson does not understand this. He is not qualified to be mayor of Ottawa.
He fails to understand that the solution to the guns-and-gangs problem resides with day care and social work, not 10 more officers. The OPS has been so foreign in some troubled neighbourhoods that residents won’t speak to them for fear of gang retribution. How have such communities become so violent, so isolated and so fearful? What has Watson done about it? Poured money into big lizards and airborne meals for Ottawa 2017, a celebration that should have been in the federal sphere, not the municipal one. Hope you had a good time taxpayers.
We need to give working class residents and new Canadians a chance to live fruitful lives. If they see no hope, they will replace by twos and threes each gang member who is put behind bars. The shootings won’t continue, they will escalate. We need day cares.
So join and support the people who are trying to save the Woodridge Court Child Care Centre and other such social programs and day cares. Do it for our new Canadian neighbours, for the under-employed, for the poor but also do for your community and the safety and well-being of your family, friends and yourself.
Make Ottawa a better place. The guns-and-gangs problem is not 10 officers but long, complicated and difficult work. No easy solutions exist.
So save the Woodridge Court Child Care Centre and other such initiatives. Do it for the kids and their parents. Do it for yourself.
A flyer on the efforts to save the centre is below:
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