Posts Tagged ‘change’

Planning For Change

August 5, 2008

In order to add functionality and better meet the needs of it’s increasing readership, FMBS will soon be moving to a new web space with a new look.

We want you to be part of the transition by telling us what needs to change and what additions you’d like to see.

Click HERE to take our survey.

London’s 2008 Police Budget Debate

February 21, 2008

I said it when I went before London’s CAPS Committee in 2002. I’ve said it many times since then. And now I’ll say it again…
London does not have enough police officers!

Police strength in Canada is well below that in many other industrialized nations. For example, police strength ranges from 222-270 officers per 100,000 population in the United States, Australia, and England and Wales. Police strength in Canada peaked at 206 officers for every 100,000 population in 1975. And of the 25 largest communities Census Metropolitan Areas (by population) in Canada, London’s police strength ranks way down (tied in 14th place with 7 others). 01

Appended 2008/02/24: Based on StatsCan cities-only data that I’ve now found, London’s police strength is actually in the middle of the pack from that more specific perspective. However, as I previously suggested, simply focusing on that stat is misleading (read on).

But that kind of comparison doesn’t tell the whole story, does it? My common sense tell me that the communities that need the most police, are those that have the most males aged 15-24 (approx).

Based on my crunching of the CMA numbers that I got from the StatsCan website, of those same 25 communities, London ranks 7th in terms of the number of males aged 15-24 per capita. And then I crunched the CMA numbers again, and I determined that London only ranks 20th out of 25 when you compare the # of police that we have with the number of males aged 15-24 that we have. 02

Appended 2008/02/24: Based on my crunching of the cities-only numbers that I got from the StatsCan website, London ranks 6th in terms of the number of males aged 15-24 per capita. And then I crunched the cities-only numbers again, and I determined that London ranks 14th when you compare the # of police that we have with the number of males aged 15-24 that we have. 03 Admittedly, not as bad a picture as was painted by the CMA data, but not a good picture by any stretch of the imagination either (if my premise is correct).

sshhhHowever, I do agree with those members of Council who are complaining about the lack of transparency. I think that all of the city’s Boards and Commissions that I’ve had any dealings with are too secretive. Like HERE, and HERE, and HERE, and HERE, and HERE, and HERE, and…

Appended 2008/02/21: Coun. Nancy Branscombe is reportedly complaing that Council members weren’t given a copy of the police budget, and Police Chief Murray Faulkner is reported to have said that “all 62 pages…” of the police budget was provided “…to city administrators”03 The drama unfolds…

Appended 2008/02/22: Can this get any more interesting? Jeff Fielding and Vic Cote are reportedly denying that the city administration ever received a line-by-line budget from the police. 04 So, all that’s clear at this point is that someone isn’t telling the truth.

Sources:
01. 2007/11/16 – The Daily: Police personnel and expenditures
02. 2008/02/20 – FMBS: CMA spreadsheet data
03. 2008/02/20 – FMBS: cities-only spreadsheet data
04. 2008/02/21 – LFP: Secrecy claims raise ire of chief
05. 2008/02/22 – LFP: 4.4 percent

Other Links:
2008/02/04 – FMBS: Jonathan Sher’s Police Budget Half-Truth

CUPE’s Poverty Reduction Proposal

January 28, 2008

CUPE Ontario will make a deputation this afternoon that will propose three policy shifts that the government must make in order to achieve a reduction of poverty in the province…

(more…)

Safer Streets in Nova Scotia

November 24, 2007

Nova Scotia’s Transportation Minister, Murray Scott, has introduced amendments to that province’s Motor Vehicle Act that appear to hold a promise of increased safety for pedestrians.

An 18-month pilot program would allow police to install photo-radar cameras capable of nabbing speeders and red light runners.

Another provision would ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving.

Drivers who fail to yield for pedestrians at crosswalks would see a doubling of fines: $500 for a first offence, $1,000 for a second and $2,000 for a third.

Can you hear me applauding?

Links:
2007/11/15 – CBC: Ban cell phones (audio)
2007/11/24 – Globe & Mail: N.S. government to make streets safer

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Political Salaries

October 6, 2006

  I am entitled to my entitlements.”
– David Dingwall

In today’s paper (“Politicians entitled to their entitlements?”; Victoria Stirling (London); LFP “Letters”; 2006/10/07), a local citizen muses aloud about the financial gulf between politicians and many of the rest of us.

I have long suggested that the salaries of politicians at all levels of government should be directly tied to the minimum wage, or to what those who are on welfare receive. Perhaps then, the politicians would be more cognizant of the plight of those that they profess to serve, as opposed to their own “entitlements.”

As part of my Ward 1 Municipal Campaign, I’ve promised that if elected I will attempt to have bylaw A-9 (which covers salaries and expenses for members of Council) modified in that manner.