THUNDER BAY – What do the crime figures and analysis by Macleans Magazine mean for Thunder Bay. NetNewsledger.com asked City Councillors, and challengers for the Mayor’s seat on Council.
As those answers come in from Councillors and candidates, they will be published. The responses and questions asked are below:
Keith Hobbs responded first:
Thunder Bay has formed a Crime Prevention Council, how long will it take before that Council meets, and how long afterward to implement its recommendations?
Answer: I look forward to meeting with the Crime Prevention Council as Mayor and discuss the long-term strategies for combating crime. Having said that I believe that it is imperative that we institute short-term strategies to combat the crime in Thunder Bay. Re-deploying our officers and re-instituting Neighborhood Policing complimented by a citizens patrol group will go a long way to reducing crime. I spoke about the County Park Neighborhood program that reduced calls for service by 37% and they won a Provincial Award. The program was cancelled shortly after that award. We need to get those programs going again quickly. We need to focus all our efforts on reducing violence and this may take away from other areas of enforcement for the short term but in my opinion we need to stabilize Thunder Bay now.
Question: Over the past year, some on Council along with the Police Services Board have suggested the crime rates are not as bad as they looked.
What is your reaction to Thunder Bay being listed 23rd most dangerous city?
Answer: Instead of dwelling on the MacLeans’ article (which is absolutely no surprise to me) we need to move forward on this issue and not look back. It is apparent that I have been backed up by many in my assessment of crime in this city and it is not my nature to say I told you so. I was, am, and always will be, committed to rectifying the problem. The time for talk is over and it is time for immediate action.
Question: The CEDC and Thunder Bay Tourism are working very hard to build our brand as a great place to work, visit and live.
Do you feel that Macleans Magazine’s article can harm those efforts?
Answer: Of course the MacLeans article could harm the efforts of Tourism and the CEDC. However we can capitalize on this article as well. When we attack and clean up the crime issues (and we will never eradicate crime) and bring crime to acceptable levels, we can advertise Thunder Bay as one of the safest cities and compare where we are now to where we have come. It will paint us as a progressive city that deals with its issues. It’s all in the marketing isn’t it?