All seven City Councillors elected for the first-time issue statement calling for greater investment in social services that support community safety, ahead of the 2023 Budget
Everyone in our city deserves to feel safe. A collaborative partnership between the City of Toronto, the Toronto Police Services, and residents is an important part of this. However, for too long, governments have prioritized enforcement over addressing the root causes of crime and violence: poverty, discrimination, lack of opportunities, underinvestment, and inequality. Decades of research and evidence has shown that increasing police spending without simultaneous investments in social and community infrastructure does not make our communities safer.
For more than 40 years, solutions and recommendations have been presented, offering tangible actions and social investments necessary to truly create a safe city. These solutions have been proven in other jurisdictions, and many additional programs have shown promise right here in Toronto.
The evidence shows that community-led crisis response programs, like the Toronto Community Crisis Service (TCCS) work. TCCS has had great success responding to individuals in crisis and connecting them with services – in the vast majority of instances without police enforcement, which allows limited police resources to be focused on crime. Investing in initiatives such as TCCS should be our top priority, along with increased commitments for affordable housing, mental health services, good jobs, climate resilience, and evidence-based community health and safety.
Under SafeTO, the City of Toronto’s official community safety and well-being plan, there are a number of actions and initiatives currently running that show significant promise and could be leveraged and expanded. This is where further investments in community safety should be prioritized.
As newly-elected City Councillors, we are joining together to advocate for this year’s City budget to prioritize investments in the social services that sustain and support the lives of residents and promote healthy communities. Now is the time for real investments that make our city more affordable, accessible, and safer for everyone. Toronto can’t wait any longer.
Media Contact for Councillor Alejandra Bravo:
Chief of Staff