Weeknote 3, 2021

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Three days ago, The Toronto Star proved that the Ford government significantly watered down the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for schools while the government repeatedly assured Ontarians that they were following the best medical advice. In doing so, not only did they endanger the lives of the educators of Ontario, some would argue by letting COVID-19 spread through our schools beyond our control, they endangered all of our lives and livelihood. Such strong leadership.

Also, here’s something for those of you who are advocating for lifting the lockdown, opening the borders, and re-opening the schools without mass testing or additional resources:

Haug, N., Geyrhofer, L., Londei, A. et al. Ranking the effectiveness of worldwide COVID-19 government interventions. Nat Hum Behav 4, 1303–1312 (2020). https://doi-org/10.1038/s41562-020-01009-0

§2

The video of the January 18, 2021’s council meeting is up and the recording is over 8 hours long.

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The agenda for the next council meeting is up (Monday February 1, 2021) and is presently only 458 pages long. Most of the document is related the Community Improvement Plan for the Wyandotte Corridor between the University and Downtown.

But there was something else that I thought I’d dig into:

7.2 Community Safety and Well-Being Program

There’s a weird ask in this agenda. The gist is, the “In 2019 the Provincial government amended the Police Services Act to mandate every municipality to prepare and adopt a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. At their meeting of July 8, 2019, City Council considered this initiative as outlined in Report #S97/2019 and approved, through CR340/2019, that the Commissioner of Community Development and Health Services undertake a Community Safety and Well Being Plan.” But then, “after discussions amongst the regional Chief Administrative Officers proposing a regional CSWB Plan, Report S198/2019 was brought to City Council requesting authorization to engage the County of Essex and its municipalities to develop a Regional Community Safety and Well-Being Plan (RCSWB).” Because of that delay and because of COVID, the ask for the upcoming meeting is to ask Council for permission for the Plan to come together using with a December 31, 2021 deadline even through the provincial deadline was originally January 1, 2021 and is now likely July 1, 2021.

I mention this plan for three reasons. First, I’m disappointed that there is a Consulting Agreement with StrategyCorp is working on this file because I have not forgiven them for their laughable 20 Year Strategic Plan that they left our city to deal with.

Secondly, there is a lot of potential good that could come from establishing a common plan. Here is a short list of what Ontario municipalities have done so far:

  • Niagara, after a first round of consultations, has set these as their local priorities: addictions/ substance misuse, affordable housing, mental health, poverty and income, and homelessness
  • Hamilton is currently seeking community feedback using their public engagement platform
  • Ottawa, after a first round of consultations, is planning to address six local priorities: discrimination, marginalization & racism, financial security & poverty reduction, gender-based violence & violence against women, housing, integrated & simpler systems, and mental well-being. It gathered these through its public engagement platform.
  • Peel Region has already delivered their plan. Their local focus is family violence, mental health and addictions, and systemic discrimination
  • London, after a round of consultations using its public engagement platform, is currently drafting their plan

You know what? I would have loved to have an opportunity to tell my City what safety means to me. I would loved to see a CSWB plan as a means to consider systematic racism, drug addiction, and violence against women in our communities at the systems level.

But it looks like much of the public consultation from the City of Windsor has already been defined very narrowly.

– Facilitation of three pilot Sector Network Community Conversations consisting of 81 participants. Pilot community conversations were held with the Windsor Essex Local Immigration Partnership (WE LIP); We Care for Youth Committee (WCFY); and the Seniors Advisory Committee (SAC)….

Facilitation of three additional Sector Network Community Conversations consisting of 23 participants. Community conversations were held with the Downtown Windsor Safety and Security Roundtable (DWSSRT); the Ford City Safety Committee (FCSC); and the Enforcement and Justice Pillar of the Windsor Essex Community Opioid and Substance Strategy (WECOSS – E&J).

And this brings me to the last reason why I wanted to mention this item. It strikes me as terribly pathetic to see our mayor trying to get as much political mileage as he can in the media from writing a letter about a random and tragic crime when he could actually do the work to ensure that the city of Windsor use the opportunity of the CSWB to generate an cross-sector roadmap to actually improve the safety of the people in our community.

I am very tired of political theatre.

I am very tired of pandemic theatrics.

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I’m also very tired of a very white Canadian Media.

§5

I hope the proposed CIP for Wyandotte can address this.