I emailed all the municipal candidates to ask about the recent shootings. I asked them how their platforms address violent crime in Weston, how violent crimes can be prevented, and what their platforms offer the youth of Weston. Leo Marshall and Fulvio Sansone responded quickly by email. Frances Nunziata and I spoke on the phone. Abdi Hashised did not return my email by the time this story was posted.
Councillor Nunziata emphasized her long experience in Weston, and said that her most recent efforts have been trying to stamp out illegal and after-hours bars that draw criminals and other drug-dealers.
The double shooting, she said “makes me sick. Crime has always been on the priority list for me, going back for the last 22 years.”
“I’ve walked about with the police. We try to target problem establishments”, she said. “We’ve gone on a number of blitzes with Alcohol and Gaming. We’ve laid a number of charges. We’re trying to get their licenses revoked.”
The young men were shot in an area popular for drug dealing, she said. Police told her that they were not from the area.
In a long email, Sansone said that revitalizing the BIA and businesses would reduce crime in Weston.
My plans are to revitalize York South Weston primarily by strengthening our existing BIAs in Weston and Mt. Dennis…. Through revitalization of our business corridors we then create an environment that is not conducive to crime… you don’t hear about shootings in the Beach or Bloor West Village because that is not the type of environment where criminals thrive!
More after school as well as Parks & Recreation Programs are needed for the area youth.
Sansone says that creating community groups will give Weston more clout:
We have some very valuable and effective resident & community groups in our Ward and we need to establish similar groups in York South Weston where they do not exist. With the strength and organization of our combined community groups our voice will then carry the weight needed to have our Provincial & Federal representatives make the necessary changes to laws that will give our police the tools needed and to put teeth into sentences that will act as deterrents.
In her email to me, Marshall said
This issue of crime goes deeper than what we note and the underlying factors need in-depth examination. Poverty, the lack of jobs and even educational opportunity all hinder the development of a community where the standards that are required are met and not in decline.
Presumably taking a shot at the mayoral front-runner, Rob Ford, she said
Policing and the ability to reach our youth through providing for them activities (perhaps a structured Community Centre) will help, but we need to go further. Certainly this is not the time to cut funding to organizations which offer outreach programs but the time to enhance them.