John Tory’s Investment in Toronto Police Welcome News for BIAs
We won’t have a strong economic recovery without making sure we continue to have a safe city.
Crime is a complex issue – we all know that. In addition to hiring more police officers, we need to invest in our communities. That includes anti-violence programming, investments in kids and families, increased investment in crisis services, and a stronger focus on mental health supports.
The Mayor’s proposed budget, if approved, will increase investments into the Toronto Community Crisis Service, an important pilot launched last year that provides trained non-police professionals to respond to people experiencing mental health crises.
We are proud to live in a compassionate, responsible city that is committed to public safety and the wellbeing of all Torontonians. Our city is not perfect, but we support Mayor Tory’s commitment to keeping us safe and fostering a community for our businesses to survive and prosper.
Having a safe city does involve making smart investments in community safety including in our police service.
Our city is growing and needs to remain safe. If our city is going to recover from the pandemic, residents and visitors need to be safe and to feel safe in our neighbourhoods. Plain and simple.
While homicides have declined, carjackings, theft, break-ins, gun crime and other crimes continue to rise, we need officers in our neighbourhoods with the right training to keep us safe.
As BIAs from across the city, we applaud Mayor John Tory’s announcement of an increase in the police budget along with increasing funding for anti-violence programs and the Toronto Community Crisis Service. And we aren’t the only ones.
The COVID-19 pandemic shook our communities, changed our perspectives and hurt many of us financially – businesses and households alike. And as businesses continue to recover, we need to know that we live in a city that supports safe and healthy neighbourhoods. Although millions of people reside in Toronto and thousands more visit here every day, we are still struggling to return to pre-pandemic levels.
People need to be inspired, motivated and excited to come to Toronto. To shop, to work, to explore, to live. If they don’t feel safe to do so, our city suffers and so do our businesses.
Toronto’s BIAs represent the city’s, the province’s and the countries, economic centre, employing tens of thousands of people, occupying the country’s busiest transit hub, and populating vibrant centres of retail, finance, hospitality, arts, culture and tourism.
The Mayor’s budget announcement echoes his commitment to public safety. A commitment shared by more Torontonians than many may think. We want a safer city, where people from all neighbourhoods and walks of life feel protected and respected. A $48 million increase may sound hefty, but it doesn’t go as far as one might think. This police budget has to support millions of people living in this city every single day.
This proposed increase is responsible, practical and necessary. It will deploy 25 new police officers to our neighbourhoods – a very welcome addition. We have been advocating for this investment on behalf of businesses and residents for some time.
Beyond that, this budget proposal offers a balanced, more progressive approach to policing than our city has seen in previous years.
Let’s look at this budget in a real way and start having practical discussions on how we can make Toronto a better place for all who live here, work here, and play here.
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The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) is a non-profit umbrella organization working with the 85 Business Improvement Areas within the City of Toronto, who in turn represent more than 90,000 business and property owners.
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