Investing in our Quality of Life and Community Safety
From young to not-so-young, offering programming and events in accessible venues enriches a community. From Playgrounds, Summer in the Parks, Live from the Waterfront, the Teddy Bears Picnic, festivals and carnivals alike, nothing brings people together to enhance their lives then joining their fellow citizens throughout the year to partake in municipally supported events.
There is a lot of data out there to support the notion that programming in 55 Plus Centers makes for healthier and happy people. The same can be said for our youth. Investing in programming and recreation enriches our community fabric and has substantial benefits to the community as a whole.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing people outside enjoying our amazing parks, trails and facilities. We can all use a little less screen time and get out there to explore our own backyard. In today’s hustle and bustle world, families need time to connect and create memories. I believe that improvements to our neighbourhood parks and investments in Heath Park pool are important to this community.
In order for people to enjoy what this city has to offer, community safety must be recognized. People need to feel safe in their homes, neighbourhood and city. Thunder Bay has a number of social issues that lead to poverty, homelessness, addictions and crime. Even though the city has dedicated funding to the Shelter House and their programming, more needs to be done. The provincial and federal government need to partner with the city on overcoming these complex issues. While funding has been put in place to assist with homelessness initiatives, the taxpayers of this community cannot solely fund solutions that fall under health care. Proposals like the Crime Prevention Council and the Thunder Bay Drug Awareness Committee certainly provide a resource to addressing the issues but investing in programming for youth designed to support high risk kids further enhances our ability to serve a vulnerable population. These words, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” really resonate for me. Addressing the root cause of a problem helps us to build a strong foundation and an even stronger community.
Unfortunately racism is a major problem in this community. Although many of us have been here for generations, for the most part, we all came from somewhere else. We have to create an inclusive community – a place where we feel welcome and proud to call home. We have a duty to solve this problem. It starts with leadership communicating and identifying solutions. Indigenous leaders need to be a partner in finding solutions because their perspective can help us drive change. Through connectivity and working together, we develop a sense of community. We can do better!
I am committed to making sure that we support programming, enhancing our amenities and keeping Thunder Bay safe, active and engaged. We are really lucky to live in such a beautiful piece of the world – rich in culture and diversity.