Yesterday, Stephen Harper announced the establishment of a Conservative Task Force focusing on gun-related crime in cities. The task force will tour Canada to meet with victims, agencies, law enforcement and local politicians.
Earlier this year the Conservative party opposed a federal Budget proposing a renewed investment in social welfare. Yet, considerable research has shown that poverty, homelessness and social exclusion are key factors in community safety. Anthony Hutchinson’s M.Y. L.I.F.E project, co-funded by Wellesley and completed last year, is one such project.
I spoke to Anthony on this subject today, this was his reaction:
If we want to get serious about community safety we have start talking about investing real dollars into social preceptors or antecedents that lead to unsafe and unhealthy communities. Simply stated, we need to focus on causes not symptoms. Causes are, barriers to employment, unjust education policies such as the Safe Schools Act, inequity in education delivery, and poor income opportunities. We need to offer young people income opportunities that go beyond leaving them at the status of the working poor. The time now is not to cut back in government programming but to facilitate social investment in our communities.
– Anthony Hutchinson (Ryerson University)
If you would like to read the final report from the M.Y. L.I.F.E project, you can do so here.