Letter in Support of SafeTO Implementation Plan and Recommendations
The following letter was submitted to City of Toronto’s Executive Committee on January 26, 2022 by Toronto’s big six downtown BIAs and TABIA in support of the SafeTO Implementation plan and recommendations.
Dear Chair and members of the Executive Committee,
This letter is submitted in support of the SafeTO Implementation Plan and Recommendations going before the City of Toronto’s Executive Committee on January 26, 2022.
We support the SafeTO recommendations to resource mental health crisis response; gun violence reduction programs; and supports for individuals and communities impacted by violence. Perhaps most importantly, we support the recommendation to create a shared data resource that breaks down silos in reporting and drives collaborative, full-picture analysis from a multitude of different sectors and sources.
We also strongly support of the recognition in SafeTO that healthy safe neighbourhoods and communities are critical for economic development.
The need for a Community Safety and Well-being Plan, like SafeTO, that addresses neighbourhood issues of both safety and inclusion is very much needed. The pandemic has only magnified this need.
As a business community, we understand and acknowledge the need to provide support and resources to the neighbourhood’s most vulnerable community members. The Core BIAs have been working in partnership for numerous years on issues impacting Downtown Toronto, its economic resilience and ensuring it is a great City to Live, Work, Play, Learn and Shop.
At the same time, we are seeing an increase in behaviours related to substance use, mental illness, poverty and homelessness on-street, made significantly worse by the ongoing pandemic. Open drug use, along with erratic and aggressive behaviours and a lack of appropriate interventions and services is having a profoundly negative impact on our neighbourhood’s sense of safety, welcome and inclusiveness – for residents, businesses, employees, students and visitors.
As always, we stand ready and willing to play our part in community-led solutions to these complex challenges.
Thank you for your attention and the opportunity to submit this letter.
Downtown Yonge BIA
Downtown West BIA
St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood BIA
Toronto Financial District BIA
Bloor Yorkville BIA
Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas: TABIA
Cc Executive Committee
Deputy City Manager, Paul Johnson