Air Canada recently put out a directive to staff instructing them to no longer stay in downtown Winnipeg hotels citing safety concerns. According to media reports, our Mayor is puzzled by this move.
The Mayor, other politicians and special interest groups with a vested interest in the downtown, have for years been perpetuating the illusion that the downtown area of Winnipeg is a safe place.
I suppose Air Canada’s refusal to ignore the facts is what is puzzling the Mayor.
The Crimestat Maps that follow depict the 8 types of crime tracked by Crimestat for the period for October 1st 2010 and October 1st 2011. Map 1 shows the Portage South Community, Map 2 the Central Park Community, and Map 3 the Portage Ellice Community. The maps (and statistic tables) for those 3 downtown communities show that in the previous calendar year there were 4 homicides, 111 muggings, and 24 * sexual assaults.
Portage Ellice Community
Now let’s have a look at the St. James Industrial Community, where the Ar Canada staff will be staying. This area had no homicides in the last year, 6 muggings and 6 sexual assaults and a smattering of other property crime.
If you are still puzzled Mr. Mayor why not go for a walk with the Chief of Police to Portage Avenue and Main Street, pull your collective heads out of the clouds and look what is happening on Portage Avenue. Alternately have a close look at Crimestat and ‘visit’ some of the neighbourhoods in the downtown and the immediate north end and ask yourself how safe you would feel to live there. And finally, do something about it.
Stop spewing the election time propaganda that policing and the safety of Winnipeg streets is a provincial problem. It’s not. It’s a City of Winnipeg problem. It’s your problem and a Winnipeg Police problem. Do your job and provide appropriate policy direction to the Police Service and hold them accountable to address the issue of crime on the streets of Winnipeg.
* correction to original post