The horrified response to this senseless murder of an innocent focused on how Canada's larest city is grappling with an apparent trend toward increased rates of violent crime.
From my little perch in a relatively small city a couple of hours down the highway, I wanted to reflect the reality that the issue is hardly confined to one large city. It affects us all. Read on...
Our homicide rate worse than TorontoDisclosure: I wrote this from a coffee shop in Florida - see this entry for more - but I was writing from a Londoner's perspective. Now I know how ex-pats feel.
Published Thursday, January 5, 2006
The London Free Press
Londoners often look to Toronto and sigh with relief that our burg isn’t riddled with gun violence that kills teenage girls in broad daylight and disproportionately erases the lives of dozens of young African-Canadian men.
We shouldn’t be so smug.
London recorded 19 gun-related crimes in 2005 – a new high. Our 14 homicides pale in comparison to Toronto’s 78 – until you factor in our relative population sizes and realize our homicide rate tops theirs.
Whether or not we wish to admit it, we’re just as vulnerable to violent crime as any other Canadian city. Ignoring the issue won’t make us safer.
An election campaign gives us a chance to push candidates hard on issues that matter. I’d argue that public safety is one issue that matters.
The candidates will soon be gone. Violent crime, however, will persist.
Don’t let the politicos slide by with canned answers and vague policy directions.
The ones who show that they get it – and that they won’t forget about it after assuming office – will get my vote.
Your turn: Wherever you live, is public safety a hot-button issue for you? Why?