Edmonton – Murder Capital of Canada
Spending as much time as I do trying to promote our City, particularly the economic development of our knowledge economy and next gen community, I am very concerned with the latest title bestowed on us. Murder Capital of Canada.
Like many Edmontonians, I was a bit aloof to the severity of the problem. But this weekend’s shooting at a north-side Earls has opened my eyes to how bold our violent crime problem has become. Edmonton has seen 22 murders YTD vs an equally alarming 2 for Calgary. The reasons are surely complicated, but it’s not good enough to list them as excuses. Recession, transient workers, long-winter, reduced mental health services, etc. etc. What’s worse, when you look at a map of the homicides, there is a noticeable chasm in this City, and we had better do something about it. If you draw a line North of the River, roughly cutting the City in half, and you will see that the Murder rate is almost double what’s being advertised.
We won’t be revitalizing our downtown when the statistical likelihood of getting murdered there is as high as any place in the country.
I know that this is a complicated situation, and it’s not entirely a policing issue; but we own this record. The list of solutions will be as long as the list of causes behind these murders. But it’s time for a task-force of diverse community members and experts to shine a light on this issue.
I am normally no fan of committees; generally preferring a clear runway for our bureaucrats to make decisions and get things done, but this issue demands a transparent and unencumbered review by a trusted panel of citizens and experts.
Hopefully our Mayor and our Premier, can see that this is a major problem; and will do something together to address the issues. These kinds of things tend to snowball and soon the only people who will tolerate living in North Edmonton will be those who have little other choice. Edmonton is better than this.
See a map of Edmonton’s homicides here (and click the LINK below to access timeline and information detail).