Crime rises along with police budgets, yet cities are no safer

Toronto is a perfect example of a municipal system out of touch with effective policing. More money and new processes don't result in less crime

Crime rises along with police budgets, yet cities are no saferPolice services are once again hard at work preparing annual budget submissions for the next fiscal year. The cost of policing continues to mount year after year, and the justifications seem to repeat year to year as well. The budget for Canada’s largest municipal police force, the Toronto Police Service (TPS) now exceeds $1.2 billion,…

Epidemic of illegal firearms overwhelms Canadian cities

Corrections institutions are merely holding facilities with few effective rehabilitative programs. They must have programs for safe, effective reintegration

Epidemic of illegal firearms overwhelms Canadian citiesAn analysis by the CBC covering two decades of homicide statistics for Winnipeg reveals a major shift in the types of weapons used. It’s happening across the country. Winnipeg had 44 homicides in 2019, more than in any other previous 10-year period. Police seized 1,771 guns in 2018, up from 1,195 in 2017 and 825…

We can’t just throw money at crime prevention

We need to to treat the crisis of a growing prison population as a public health challenge rather than the narrower response being advocated

We can’t just throw money at crime preventionWinnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth has a typical challenge on his hands: crime is up, resources are stretched and more money is needed. Behind the scenes, he must also be seen as preserving the interests of his officers and the police association. The Winnipeg Police Board and municipal politicians have their perpetual challenges: be perceived…

We must fight crime at its social roots

The rash of liquor store robberies in Winnipeg says more about underlying social problems than it does about the effectiveness of police

We must fight crime at its social rootsWinnipeg has experienced a rash of liquor store swarmings involving masked individuals who have become increasingly accustomed to little or no resistance. The best deterrent to crime is not the severity of sentence or punishment, but the certainty of detection and apprehension. An even better and common-sense response would be to mitigate the underlying precursors…

Humanity faces a huge and growing crisis

The number of displaced, marginalized and impoverished people continues to grow. How we handle this will determine mankind’s future

Humanity faces a huge and growing crisisAt any given time, there are about 20 million people on the move in the world. When there’s war, terrorism, extreme weather events or other disruptions, this can grow to 80 million people trying to get to safety. We hear of illegal immigrants crossing borders and thousands of people walking north through Central America to…

In search of truth in the face of political lies

These untruths reflect badly on candidates, and much more on the ability of the electorate to make thoughtful and informed decisions

In search of truth in the face of political liesWe live in a society of law and order, of values and mission statements, oversight, accountability, and in which transparency is highly valued. Witnesses at judicial hearings are held in contempt if they lie, individuals who knowingly make false and harmful statements can be held libellous, advertisers can’t lie about their products, students can’t cheat…

The war on drugs must be fought at addiction’s social roots

The answer to addiction will not be found in the industries of incarceration and prescription

The war on drugs must be fought at addiction’s social rootsOn Oct. 21, pharmaceutical opioid distributors McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, and drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals agreed to a US$260-million settlement just hours before opening arguments were scheduled to begin in the first opioid-era federal lawsuit in Ohio. This is the first of hundreds of similar lawsuits filed by cities, counties, Native American tribes…

Don’t blame the oil industry for our consumer excesses

Assigning the blame too narrowly is neither a fair nor effective strategy

Don’t blame the oil industry for our consumer excessesFor an increasing number of young people, governments no longer seem to have the answer to many of the fundamental challenges of the 21st century. Climate change is at the forefront. As politics becomes increasing tribal, intolerance is entrenched and good governance is weakened. Very few systems are designed to address global concerns, promoting regional…

Moral indignation needs some perspective

We’re behaving as though absolutely nothing we do today will cause future generations to look back at us as backward, insensitive and brutish

Moral indignation needs some perspectiveThere’s a certain myopic moral indignation in the criticism of prominent public figures for having painted their faces, dressed inappropriately, or said or done things in the past that we find offensive today. It’s understandable, for example, that many are offended and disappointed in the conduct of Justin Trudeau. These feelings are justified and important.…

There’s no simple solution to minimizing violent crime

Community policing, rehabilitation strategies and reintegration programs for offenders must all be part of the move to reduce violent crime

There’s no simple solution to minimizing violent crimeToronto had a bad year with 308 shootings and 79 homicides in 2018. In Chicago, a similarly-sized city, there were 2,388 shootings and 565 murders. Baltimore, again about the same size, recorded 309 homicides in 2018. Politicians, media and citizens in all three cities are increasingly shocked about increases in violent crime and diminishing public…