Toronto Vital Signs Report – Issue Ten: Safety

Toronto Foundation has just released Vital Signs Report 2019: Growing Pains and Narrow Gains. This report provides a consolidated snapshot of the trends and issues affecting the quality of life in our city and each of the interconnected issue areas is critical to the wellbeing of Toronto and its residents.

Vital Signs examines ten issue areas. We have been exploring highlights of each of these sections. The final issue is Safety.

A recent medical study shows living in high-crime neighbourhoods does not just affect psychological well-being or those directly who are victimized, but also increases the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.

  • After a decade of decreasing crime rates, major crimes have been increasing in Toronto and the rest of Canada, though it is still far lower than 15 years ago.
  • The 2018 murder rate was unprecedentedly high, even after accounting for mass-murder events.
  • Crime is not evenly distributed in the city and is disproportionately felt by those in disadvantaged communities, those with lower income, and younger people.
  • Confidence in police is high overall, but is extremely low among the Black community and certain other racialized populations.
  • Many are not confident they will be able to receive legal support should they need it, including those with low incomes and newcomers.

Access to justice is CSI member Caryma Sa’d‘s raison d’être. A major component of her work involves advocacy with respect to human rights and social justice issues. She works closely with cannabis activists, educators, and entrepreneurs, as well as individual patients and recreational consumers. Her perspective on the intersection of law, politics, and racism underlying cannabis prohibition makes her a strong proponent of legalization and amnesty.

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