Regina's community safety and well-being plan is finally coming into focus

·2 min read
Regina city councillors are getting ready to implement (Alexander Quon/CBC News - image credit)
Regina city councillors are getting ready to implement (Alexander Quon/CBC News - image credit)

A bold plan meant to tackle the root causes of crime in Regina will come into focus at a meeting of Regina city council on Wednesday.

The idea of the community safety and well-being plan dates back to 2019.

Council at that time linked the municipality's level of crime and violence to a variety of underlying social issues.

The plan that has been developed identifies six key areas of concern:

  • Domestic violence and intimate partner violence.

  • Food insecurity.

  • Problematic substance use.

  • Racism and discrimination.

  • Safety and service systems (networks of organizations that support individuals and groups through things such as mental health problems and substance use.

  • Education.

They were developed through community consultation, feedback from those who could be affected by the plan and experts from across the country.

At a special council meeting last month that was convened to specifically deal with proposed plan, council approved it in principle.

Council also signed off on delegating authority to the city manager to approve criteria for the expansion of transit and leisure pass distribution to organizations advancing the priorities of the plan. It considered approval of annual funding of $500,000 in the 2022 budget process for harm-reduction initiatives.

Six of the 10 items were tabled in a motion put forward by Mayor Sandra Masters.

Those include the terms of reference for the mayor's leadership committee on community safety and well-being, a City of Regina action plan, a social well-being policy, funding for a comprehensive overdose prevention strategy and directing the city manager to adjudicate, approve and administer its harm-reduction funding stream.

Council will also now consider whether to approve $800,000 in annual funding to create an external, non-profit organization that would take the lead in implementing the plan.

That organization would be funded by the government but answer to a board of directors. The idea is to have the city involved in the process but allow the organization a greater level of autonomy.

It would mean it would not be affected by changes in elected officials and be capable of being highly responsive, according to the report.

All of those recommendations are set to be resolved at council's meeting on Wednesday.

The entire plan is budgeted for about $1.38 million in the 2022 budget.

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