THUNDER BAY – Frank Pullia is currently a Councillor at Large in the City of Thunder Bay, he is running for Mayor of Thunder Bay.
Here are Frank’s answers on the crime issue:
Question: 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: The Crime Prevention Council has just hired a coordinator who will quickly get to work to bring the various community groups together, draft terms of reference and develop a specific action plan with measurable targets based on best practices that have proven successful in other cities. Recommendations and implementations will be divided between short, mid, and long-term. Obviously the more urgent items will be dealt with immediately. However, there are things that the new Mayor can initiate independently of the crime prevention council. For example, if elected as Mayor one of my first initiatives will be to work with the provincial government and the LPH to bring new addiction and detox treatment beds under one roof, and treat the problem of crime at the source.
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: When citizens from all walks of life were expressing their concerns about the increase in crime rates and their feelings of insecurity, I took the initiative to go on a ride-along with a police patrol twice in the last year. It was evident from the type of calls that we were getting, that many were related to social issues. These issues range from unemployment, poverty, homelessness, poor parenting, youth at risk, alcohol and substance abuse to addiction to drugs, etc.
I also joined the paramedics on an ambulance for a whole evening shift and learned first hand that these issues were also tying up our paramedics and health care professional resources. The issue is real and requires immediate attention. By going to the source of the problem, we can provide the needed help required by these people, free up our limited resources, and start bringing the crime rate down.
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? This is just one report which should not be taken lightly. It is the story of the week and we should consider its impact. We need to continue our work towards improving the statistics.
Answer: It does paint a negative picture of our city and it is one of the key criteria that is holding us back from becoming one of the most livable city in Canada. This is one of my goals if elected as a Mayor and my initiative to tackle the problem at the source through the extra addiction and detox centre will reduce the crime rates substantially, and allow us to start growing as a city, as it will be easier to brand and promote Thunder Bay.
Are there any other comments would you like to make?
Crime does not stand in isolation but is part and parcel of a larger, more comprehensive approach towards community safety. This includes taking care of youth at risk, especially those that come to Thunder Bay from Aboriginal communities and need some help in transitioning. Other programs would be to provide nutritious breakfast for underprivileged kids. The education system through the school board can also be involved in providing parenting skills and youth at risk prevention programs.
Last but not least, the legal and justice system needs to provide better solutions for the long wait for a hearing and for youth crime.
For more information visit www.frankpullia.com