Monday, September 13, 2010

The Campaign for Mayor

The campaign for mayor seems to be focused on crime in recent weeks. Sam Katz, using inside information from a study unavailable to anyone else, has weighed in on hiring 19 more 911 operators and 58 more police.

Judy Wasylycia-Leis wants to force gangsters to work off their crimes in the community.

Both promises are vague in terms of how they will be implemented or paid for.

The campaign so far is unimpressive.

I don't know how many police the city should have and how they should be deployed. Nor do I know how we measure success in hiring that many officers. Would it be a drop in the crime rate? If crime doesn't go down, is the solution more police?

I don't oppose an increase in police officers but I do want to know what they will be doing and how the increase will be paid for. We have nothing of those details.

Similarly, I don't know how much it would cost to pay to get gangsters to do work in the community. It is an effective deterrent? Will it reduce crime?

Crime continues to be a big problem in Winnipeg. The city needs a plan to deal with it. I don't believe we have ever gathered enough information to be able to make a cogent decision on the issue.

My personal view is that any candidate for mayor would do well to promise to fund a comprehensive study on crime in Winnipeg and offer solutions that the city could enact on its own or in partnership with other levels of government, non-government, community or private interests to address the issue. In terms of how the study would be funded, I think it could be done within the present city budget.

It is better to make decisions on sound advice and sound information.

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