Mayor's Advisory Panel on making a safe city safer holds inaugural meeting



    TORONTO, June 22 /CNW/ - Mayor David Miller today convened the first
meeting of his advisory panel on Making a Safe City Safer for the 2007-2010
term of City Council. The panel will focus on ensuring alignment of the
investments in the priority neighbourhoods, advancing partnership initiatives
related to anti-violence intervention and youth opportunities and community
safety interventions, as well as documenting progress on making our safe city
safer.
    The renewed panel will be chaired by the Honourable R. Roy McMurtry,
former Chief Justice of Ontario. The Mayor's Advisory Panel will build on the
successes to date while responding to the changing needs to Toronto's diverse
communities.
    "I'm delighted that the former Chief Justice Roy McMurtry has agreed to
continue at the helm of my advisory panel," said Mayor Miller. "The
groundbreaking work of the panel over the last three years underpins the work
that is still ahead of us."

    
    The advisory panel members include:

    Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, Chair
    Mayor David Miller
    Alok Mukherjee, Chair, Toronto Police Services Board
    William Blair, Chief of Police
    Derek Ballantyne, CEO, Toronto Community Housing Corporation
    Akua Benjamin, Director, Ryerson University, Department of Social Work
    Stephen Diamond, President, Diamondcorp
    Ryan Teschner, Lawyer, Heenam Blaikie
    Frances Lankin, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Toronto
    Audette Shephard, Founding Member, United Mothers Opposing Violence
     Everywhere
    John Davies, Vice President Administration, Humber College
    Mitchell Kosny, Chair, Toronto Community Housing Corporation
    Tony Comper, Immediate Past President & CEO, Bank of Montreal
    Shirley Hoy, City Manager, City of Toronto
    William Mendez, Youth Representative
    Gavin Sheppard, Project Coordinator, REMIX Project
    Terry Downey, Executive Vice President, Ontario Federation of Labour
     Council
    Debby Kaplan, Former Dean, Centennial College, Continuing Education &
     Corporate Training
    Fowzia Mohammed, Representative, Rexdale Community Health Centre
    

    The renewed Mayor's Advisory Panel will focus specifically on key
partnership initiatives identified in the Mayor's platform related to public
interest partnerships for youth employment, expanding training apprenticeship
and education opportunities for youth, creating a centre of educational
excellence, and anti-violence intervention.
    The panel will meet on a quarterly basis and will be supported by the
City's Community Safety Secretariat.

    Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home
to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine
of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America.
In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and
innovation in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to
prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

    Note: Background information is available on the City's website.

    
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    Backgrounder

             Mayor's Advisory Panel on making a safe city safer
    

    The City has taken the position that community safety is more than the
absence of violence. It is about social equity - ensuring that everyone and,
in particular, youth in vulnerable communities, are treated with dignity and
respect and have opportunities to achieve their full potential. It is also
about community well-being. In other words, the community safety plan is about
social change that addresses institutional and society barriers. Safety
initiatives must be directed at both reductions in violence (particularly
gun-related violence) and sustenance of the factors that contribute to
community well-being.
    In 2004, Council unanimously approved a Community Safety Plan, one key
element of which was creation of a Mayor's Panel on Community Safety. The
Community Safety Plan balances enforcement with prevention. The emphasis on
prevention has resulted in City activities focused on investment in youth
opportunities in neighbourhoods identified as having relatively poor social
infrastructure but high social and economic needs. The focus on enforcement
resulted in the Toronto Police Services introducing the TAVIS program.
    The City has focused on advancing partnerships across various sectors and
institutions, advancing youth employment opportunities and piloting innovative
program models that reach out to youth, and particularly those youth who are
excluded from full participation in the social, economic and political life of
their neighbourhoods, and communities. Other orders of government, public,
private, voluntary sector, labour and the faith communities are working
together with the City to invest funds, develop capacity and increase
programming in the priority neighbourhoods.
    As part of his mandate, Mayor David Miller has identified several
priorities that build on the solid foundation established by the community
safety plan and the Mayor's Panel. The Mayor's Advisory Panel will focus on
ensuring alignment on the investments in the priority neighbourhoods,
advancing partnerships initiatives related to youth opportunities and
community safety intervention, and on documenting progress in Making a Safe
City Safer.

    
    Mandate

    The Panel will:

    (a)    Ensure the effective alignment of resources and investments for
           maximum impact in the priority neighbourhoods

    (b)    Identify ways of ensuring the sustainability of effective programs

    (c)    Measure the City's progress in advancing the community safety
           agenda by analyzing trends, monitoring investments and developing
           outcome indicators

    (d)    Build partnerships to increase employment, apprenticeship,
           training, entrepreneurial and recreation opportunities

    (e)    Provide guidance and leadership in the development of innovative
           models advancing youth skills opportunities and youth employment

    (f)    Provide expert, informed advice to the City on the implementation
           of the initiatives outlined in the Mayor's community safety
           mandate

    (g)    Provide advice to all orders of government on legislative changes
           required to address gun violence and other forms of violence
           affecting neighbourhoods.

    Membership

    The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry
    Mayor David Miller
    Alok Mukherjee, Chair, Toronto Police Services Board
    William Blair, Chief of Police
    Mr. Derek Ballantyne, CEO, Toronto Community Housing Corporation
    Akua Benjamin, Director, Ryerson University, Department of Social Work
    Steven Diamond, President, Diamondcorp
    Ryan Teschner, Lawyer, Heenam Blaikie
    Frances Lankin, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Toronto
    Audette Sheppard, Founding Member, United Mothers Opposing Violence
     Everywhere
    John Davies, Vice President Administration, Humber College
    Mitchell Kosny, Chair, Toronto Community Housing Corporation
    Tony Comper, Immediate Past President & CEO, Bank of Montreal
    Shirley Hoy, City Manager, City of Toronto
    William Mendez, Youth Representative
    Gavin Sheppard, Project Coordinator, REMIX Project
    Terry Downey, Executive Vice President, Ontario Federation of Labour
     Council
    Debby Kaplan, Former Dean, Centennial College, Continuing Education &
     Corporate Training
    Fowzia Mohammed, Representative, Rexdale Community Health Centre

    The Panel will meet on a quarterly basis and at the call of the Chair if
additional meetings are required.

    The Panel will be supported by the City's Community Safety Secretariat.

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For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Manjit Jheeta, Manager Community
Safety Secretariat, (416) 392-8684, mjheeta@toronto.ca


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