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How can Canada continue to work on urban environments that are safe for all citizens?

over 3 years ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Recognizing that poverty is a complex issue, the Government of Canada is working with its provincial/territorial and municipal partners to create safer, healthier communities. This includes initiatives addressing the well-being of vulnerable groups including youth, women, Indigenous communities and Indigenous women. The Government of Canada is also developing a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy to address the root causes of poverty going forward.

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Consultation has concluded

  • David Fletcher, Green Coalition over 3 years ago
    Canadian cities will become safe and secure once we re-establish a deep sense of commitment on the part of citizens to their local communities. The more cohesive these communities become and the less that anonymity features among their residents, the smoother they will function. British anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist, Dr. Robin Dunbar, arrived at a figure of 150 — the Dunbar number — a cognitive limit for the number of people with one can establish and maintain stable social relations. We should be aware of this number as we rework our thinking about local urban communities. The more we can rely on interpersonal associations and loyalties, the more we may rethink our notions of public security. The more we can rely on interpersonal restraint and people looking out for one another, the greater we can stand down the externally applied constraint represented by ubiquitous signage, security cameras, police cruisers, and the great reams of bylaws they serve to enforce. Calm communities are safe communities. So cities should be designed to make people feel at peace, comfortable and trusting of neighbours. Nothing serves to release tensions better than abundant natural space that offers quiet refuge from the urban bustle. Studies show that proximity to richly endowed urban natural settings reduces tensions, relieves symptoms of depression and other mental illness and encourages interactions among people. At the same time we need security personnel and police to get out of their vehicles and re-establish supportive and amicable relations with community members. Police cruisers and officers are too often now associated with confrontation. We need a new breed of officer on the beat who are trained to defuse tensions and who can be seen as sources of support.
  • Nigel Bart over 3 years ago
    Those with lived experience of mental illness are one of the most vulnerable groups around and yet the persistent stigma that we are violent or dangerous persists. In fact we are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. So we must be more sensitive to the fact that those with mental illness need extra supports to live healthy safe lives.
  • mgifford over 3 years ago
    Bringing back the Long-Gun Registry would be nice, but it's probably not going to happen. Maybe it would be easier to support initiatives like this that are working to break the cycle of poverty & violence which is so hard to break out of:
  • cbelle over 3 years ago
    I would like to see Canada making sure that our policing does not follow that of the United States where citizens, particularly those who are Black or from other communities of colour are disproportionately criminalized and targeted by law enforcement. #BlackLivesMatter
  • bushhog98 almost 4 years ago
    We have to stop thinking in silos in our governments as the rural urban fringe keeps expanding, the conflict comes when expectations of service delivery fail. As the orders in counsel prevent ministries from working together, we must remove those barriers around service and excess-ability. This would reduce our over all community risk. Examples of legislation that restrict service delivery include: natural resource, fire protection acts and health regulations. We need clear and seamless delivery of services. Public Safety Canada, has many strategies however they are not interpret or administered equitability at the provincial level and further lose impact at the municipal/frontline level.
  • Ariannek almost 4 years ago
    I agree with the comments below-- focussing only on poverty negates much of the issue when considering how to improve city safety. I think that to maximize safety in urban environments, an intersectional approach needs to be taken with consideration and voice given to all peoples living within our communities. Importantly, consideration should be given to how gender, sexuality, disability, race, indigenous identity etc. all create extremely different security realities and concerns for each individual. Moreover, in order to maximize safety across Canada, it's important to give special attention to the community level, where the individual is most affected and involved. I think it would be worth creating tasks forces/ advisory committees composed of community members across Canada. In doing so, space would be created for all voices to be heard, therefore enabling possibility for a deeper, more well-rounded understanding of the security issues affecting ALL Canadian citizens.
  • aflynn almost 4 years ago
    I agree with the comment below that clarity is needed on the meaning of "safe." This should be the first step in developing an actionable plan. I appreciate that Canada is moving beyond the narrow notion of safety in regard to crime prevention. I encourage the development of a broad approach that considers dignity, health, inclusivity and access for all urban residents.
  • KTravers almost 4 years ago
    This heading is about safety, but the blurb below is about poverty, so there is a problematic reductive vision from the start. Poverty reduction is one element that can contribute to building safer cities, but it is certainly not the only thing. A comprehensive and localized urban safety strategy that balances prevention and response must be put in place that consider the different needs of the diversity of urban residents, inclusive of age, gender, sexual orientation, income, race, etc. City wide safety strategies must also consider elements of the built environment as well as social development and cohesion in order to be comprehensive. Everyone has a role to play in making cities safer - from the grassroots level to governments to academics to boys and girls - this is what UN Habitat refers to as the co-production of safety. Safer cities strategies are complex and multifaceted. They must be regarded as cross-cutting in urban development, and must be long term in their vision for transformative impacts. Canada and Canadian cities to commit to implementing the 1995 and 2002 UN Guidelines on Crime Prevention and to implementing the forthcoming Guidelines on Safer Cities. Canadian cities were at the forefront of the pioneering work to build safer cities, with tools and approaches that were developed here now being used in cities around the world, particularly for building safer cities for women and girls. Canada must reclaim that leadership position and support this work in Canada and internationally.