Facts and Opinion
Residents in most so called third world countries tend to see crime as something endemic to their environment as trees are to forests. These characteristics are inseparable. Quite understandable. What is hard to comprehend is the growing levels of crime and or antisocial behaviour in societies considered well developed to use the often term first world. In the USA we have mass killings almost daily. A massacre occurred in small town in Texas on the 5th Nov. 2019. Another was in El Paso Texas a few weeks ago. Canada to a less extent is having a crime problem. Although when compared to the US is a drop in the bucket.
The usual characteristics associated with a so called first world country: unemployment is low, inflation is low, and the standard of living is of a high standard, rule of law is generally respected and crime is relatively low. So the 64 million dollar question is why is crime rising in say Toronto and Winnipeg? Other areas in Canada too. The focus for the purposes of this article are these two cities. Large cities you may say. Toronto, Ontario a population of over 3 million (gta 6+ million). Winnipeg, whose Capital is Manitoba with a population of 808, 419. With province wide of Manitoba with a population of 1.3 million people. So you can see Winnipeg is a large population centre … the 7th in Canada …even more than Quebec city.
In Toronto shootings for example are up to 200 so far this year. On the 4th Nov. 2019, there was a homicide in Toronto … deaths are up also. In Winnipeg 40 deaths year to date for 2019. Most recently 3 year old baby Hunter was stabbed to death by a suspect believed to have had a relationship with Hunter’s mother … now in the custody of the police. He has not yet been charged for baby Hunter’s death. The police said “There is no need to rush (to lay charges) as we want to get it right … he is going nowhere as he is our custody.” Further there have been eleven (11) homicides in 13 days recently in the Winnipeg area. The record is 41 homicides for any one year. Just one more to equal the record of homicides.
Meeting Planned With Trudeau
There is a top level meeting with PM Justin Trudeau to discuss the crime issues in Winnipeg …. the city leaders are not saying it is a crisis as yet. $94 million dollars were allocated to Toronto to tackle gun violence. was This approach to tackling the crime issue before it reaches crisis proportions is the way to go.
Despite the increased levels of crime in Toronto and Winnipeg it should be noted that crime is relatively low. This has to be compared with population levels. There is an accepted yardstick to measure the level of crime in any society internationally. In Toronto for example high unemployment among minorities like coloured youths is believed to be one of the main causes of rising crime levels. The State employs new police officers repeatedly, hoping to arrest away the cancer of crime. An analysis for Winnipeg is not known at this time.
It is our further perspective that we are concerned about the level of homicides anywhere. A violent death is just one too many as the sanctity of life is our main concern. We hope the root causes of these escalating homicides will be investigated. The populace has a right to feel safe in their respective communities. Youth under employment seems to be one of the root causes. If this is so then at least there is a starting point. Build more training facilities and assist them with start up small businesses could be a way to go. Youths need to feel that they are being catered to. Minorities like Blacks, First Nation individuals and Hispanics seem to be the groups most negatively affected. Recruiting more police to arrest ourselves out of the problem is not the way to go as such has no long term positive results.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior National & Political correspondent for GTA Weekly.