Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Fairy Tale 2012 In Winnipeg

Wouldn't it be nice to walk down my street and see well maintained houses. And wouldn't it be nice to not feel threatened by the youth on my street. Wouldn't it be nice to go two weeks without seeing police cars on the street. Wouldn't it be nice to no longer hear about stabbings, shooting and gang violence. Wouldn't it be great to have the gang houses actually closed down. Wouldn't it be great to see kids on bikes going to the park to play instead of delivering drugs?
Could you imagine a day when the criminals of our city are picked up and put in jail? What would my North End be like if the gangs were shut down?
I don't understand why it is so difficult to remove gang graffiti. The removal of the graffiti would be a start. But it is caught in red tape.
I don't understand why it is so difficult to close a gang house. The police know where they are, and know who comes and goes from the houses. If they are identified as gang houses, shut them down.
I don't understand why it is so difficult to stop known houses from dealing drugs. When they are identified, reported to the police and Safer Communities, it takes months / years for investigations to begin. And when they do actually get investigated, issues are only dealt with if the person dealing is on the lease. And if that happens the people are asked to move. Then they just move next door or the next street over. How is that helping anything? How does that make a community safer? It doesn't.
I don't understand why bad behaviour is allowed to continue in lower income communities. That just encourages even worse behaviour.
Wouldn't it be great if criminals were charged with crimes?
Wouldn't it be great if by-laws were enforced?
Wouldn't it be great if illegal garbage dumpers were prosecuted?
Wouldn't it be great if the North End was a valued community in Winnipeg?
And wouldn't it be great if we stopped saying "it is just the North End" and "what do you expect".
Wouldn't it be great if we expected better.

Monday, January 2, 2012

It's A New Year, Winnipeg

We are starting a new year, which is generally a time for hope, a time for resolutions, and a time for change.

Last year Winnipeg was met with 39 homicides, the last one happening on the very last day of the year. Apparently there were shots fired on Selkirk Ave and two went to hospital. One did not survive.

Violence spilled over into 2012, with our first day showing a variety of incidences. There were shots fired in the in the 400 block of Aberdeen Avenue. A couple of fires on Government Ave and Corydon Ave happened overnight and are under investigation. There was also a stabbing on Kennedy Street to round off the day.

What are we to do about all of this crime and violence that seems to be taking over our City?
Really, what are we to do?

If we followed the lead of City Hall, Mayor Katz, and those in charge of informing us of crimes, we could simply brush it all under the rug. We could adjust the information given to the public, adjust what the media reports on, and adjust the stats collected. We could have a City where our Mayor proudly proclaims that our Downtown is safe and we need not fear our streets. We could have a City where the Crime Stats show no violent acts. Simply remove the homicides and shootings from the listings, just as the arsons, assaults, and stabbings are missing from public view.

We could run our City like George Orwell's 1984, where words dissapear from dictionaries. We could have a City where everyone turns a blind eye to crime, just as long as it is not in the more affluent areas of town, and remove it from our thoughts completely.

Winnipeg is a great place to be in 2012. We have our hockey team back. We are building a fancy rapid transit corridor. We have a Human Rights Museum being built. We have a new football stadium hopefully opening this year. What a great City. All we have to do is erase the fact that violence is taking over our City. Just scrub away a few more statistics, and we will have that great City we know Winnipeg can be.

Lie to me baby, and tell me the North End of Winnipeg is a safe place to be.