Transcript: Ontario Hubs: Combatting Crime in the North | Oct 12, 2018

Jeyan sits in the studio. He's is in his thirties, with short black hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and burgundy tie.

A caption on screen reads "Ontario Hubs: Combatting crime in the north. Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO. @theagenda."

A wall screen behind Jeyan reads "Ontario Hubs."

Jeyan says GUN VIOLENCE AND CRIME
ARE NOT OF COURSE JUST BIG CITY
PROBLEMS, BUT THEY PLAY OUT
DIFFERENTLY IN RURAL AND URBAN
AREAS IN NORTHERN ONTARIO.
HERE TO FILL US IN ON WHETHER
IT'S A FACTOR IN MUNICIPAL
ELECTIONS IN THEIR PARTS OF THE
PROVINCE:
FROM OUR STUDIO AT CONFEDERATION
COLLEGE IN THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO:
JON THOMPSON, OUR NORTHWEST
ONTARIO HUB EDITOR...

Jon is in his thirties, with blond hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, and a blue shirt.

Jeyan continues AND FROM OUR STUDIO AT
LAURENTIAN UNIVERSITY IN
SUDBURY:
CLAUDE SHARMA, OUR NORTHEAST
ONTARIO HUB EDITOR.

Claude is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with dark hair in a pompadour. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and checkered blue tie.

Jeyan continues WELCOME.

Claude says HI, JEYAN.

Jeyan says WHEN IT COMES TO
CRIME, ONTARIO'S NORTH USUALLY
GETS A BAD RAP.
JON, LET'S START IN THUNDER BAY.
THE CITY ONCE AGAIN HAS EARNED
THE TITLE MURDER CAPITAL OF
CANADA.
TELL ME ABOUT SOME OF THE UNIQUE
CHALLENGES THAT HAVE BROUGHT THE
CITY TO THIS POINT.

The caption changes to "Jon Thompson. Northwest Ontario Hub Editor."
Then, it changes again to "How dangerous is it?"

Jon says IT'S NOT A MONIKER
THAT THUNDER BAY WEARS PROUDLY,
BUT IT IS TRUE THAT THUNDER BAY
HAS HAD MORE MURDERS PER CAPITA
IN 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, AND
IN 2017.
THERE IS CRIME FALLING IN THE
CITY IN GENERAL.
THAT'S TRUE OF EVERYWHERE.
BUT THE INDEX THAT MEASURES
VIOLENT CRIME IS ON THE
INCREASE.
THUNDER BAY ALSO HAS THE HIGHEST
RATE OF REPORTED HATE CRIMES PER
CAPITA, AND THE RATE OF DRUG
OVERDOSES IS ABOUT DOUBLE THE
PROVINCIAL AVERAGE.
MOST OF THAT CAN BE ATTRIBUTED
TO FENTANYL AND CARFENTANYL
THAT'S STARTING TO SHOW UP IN
THE ILLICIT DRUG TRADE.

Jeyan says SO, JON, TELL ME,
HOW DO YOU THINK THUNDER BAY
COMPARES TO THE GTA WHEN IT
COMES TO HOW CRIME IS COVERED?

The caption changes to "Jon Thompson, @JonSThompson."

Jon says WELL, I'M NOT FROM
TORONTO, BUT FROM WHAT I
UNDERSTAND OF THE MEDIA
COVERAGE, CRIME SEEMS TO BE AN
ISSUE IN THIS ELECTION IN
TORONTO BECAUSE IT'S IMPACTING
PEOPLE THAT IT DOESN'T NORMALLY
IMPACT.
THERE ARE POCKETS OF EXTREME
POVERTY AND VIOLENCE IN THAT
CITY IN THE SAME WAY THAT THERE
ARE IN ALL BIG CITIES, BUT IT
SEEMS TO ME THAT THE MEDIA
DOESN'T REPORT ON THAT BECAUSE
IT'S NOT NEWS.
IT'S NORMAL.
THE CONCENTRATIONS OF EXTREME
POVERTY AND VIOLENCE ARE JUST
EXTERNALIZED AS PART OF THE
OVERALL COMMUNITY.
SO THE THUNDER BAY POLICE PUT
OUT THIS MAP EVERY WEEK
IDENTIFYING AREAS OF CRIME, AND
THERE ARE CONCENTRATION POINTS
IN URBAN CORES AND ELSEWHERE.
BUT BY AND LARGE, IT'S ALL OVER
THE MAP.
AND PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT NORMALLY
AFFECTED BY CRIME AND VIOLENCE
ARE FINDING THEMSELVES AFFECTED.
SO I THINK IN SOME WAYS... IN
SOME WAYS IT'S THE SAME SORT OF
ISSUE IN THUNDER BAY AS IT IS IN
TORONTO.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Jeyan says NOW, SUDBURY IS
ANOTHER INTERESTING CASE.
IT SAW THE COUNTRY'S HIGHEST
JUMP ON THE CRIME SEVERITY INDEX.
I WANT TO SHOW YOU GUYS SOME
NUMBERS HERE.
ACCORDING TO THE NUMBERS PUT OUT
BY STATISTICS CANADA THIS PAST
JULY, FOUR OUT OF THE FIVE
CITIES WITH THE BIGGEST INCREASE
IN REPORTED CRIME WERE IN OUR
PROVINCE.
SO WE LOOK AT THE NUMBERS...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Top 5 cities with increases in reported crime, based on 2017 crime severity index."

Jeyan reads data from the slate and says
NUMBER ONE, THE GREATER SUDBURY
AREA, UP 25 percent.
TIED AT TWO AND THREE, GUELPH
AND MONCTON, MONCTON BEING THE
ONLY NON-ONTARIO CITY ON THE
LIST.
BOTH UP 15 percent.
KITCHENER, CAMBRIDGE, WATERLOO,
UP 14 percent.
AND ST. CATHARINES ROUNDING OUT
THE TOP, A 12 percent JUMP.
THEN ACCORDING TO MACLEANS
MAGAZINE'S MOST DANGEROUS PLACES
IN CANADA RANKING, SUDBURY IS
CONSIDERED ONE OF THE SAFEST
PLACES IN NORTHERN ONTARIO.
CLAUDE, WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?
CAN YOU GIVE US SOME PERSPECTIVE
ON THIS?

The caption changes to "Claude Sharma. Northeast Ontario Hub Editor."

Claude says WELL, JEYAN, THE
MACLEANS STUDY, THAT'S FROM
2016, AND THAT WAS THE YEAR
WHERE THERE WERE NO HOMICIDES
REPORTED IN SUDBURY, ONE OF
THREE BIGGER CITIES IN CANADA
THAT HAD ZERO HOMICIDES.
AND THEN THE OTHER NUMBERS YOU
PUT OUT FROM STATS CANADA, THOSE
ARE FROM 2017.
AND THE POLICE SERVICE, THEIR
REPORT DID RELEASE A 2017 CRIME
INDEX, AND IT SHOWED THAT AN
18.5 percent INCREASE IN CRIME, WITH
THE MAJORITY OF THOSE CRIMES,
ABOUT 80 percent OF THOSE, CAME FROM
PROPERTY AND CAR THEFT CRIMES.
IN REGARDS TO MORE OF THE
VIOLENT CRIMES, YOU'RE LOOKING
AT SEXUAL ASSAULTS, THOSE HAVE
BEEN UP ABOUT 6.3 percent.
KIND OF A GOOD NEWS-BAD NEWS
SITUATION ON THAT FRONT.
POLICE SAY WHILE IT'S BAD ALWAYS
TO HAVE THOSE NUMBERS UP, IT
MEANS MORE PEOPLE ARE REPORTING
IT.
THEY ATTRIBUTE IT TO THE hashtag METOO
MOVEMENT.
AND ALSO IN REGARDS TO THE
POLICE BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
WITH VICTIMS SERVICES.
SO MORE WOMEN ARE MORE
COMFORTABLE TO COME OUT IN
REGARDS TO THAT.
ALSO TOO, LOOK AT THE CASES IN
REGARDS TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY.
POLICE ARE MORE ACTIVE IN
MONITORING THESE SITUATIONS AND
ALSO TOO THESE ARE KIND OF
CRIMES THAT BUILD UP OVER TIME
AND ARRESTS WERE MADE MORE IN
2017 THAN THEY WERE COMPARED TO 2016.

Jeyan says YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN
BUSY LOOKING AT THE MUNICIPAL
CAMPAIGNS WITH THE ELECTION LESS
THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY.
JON, YOU ATTENDED TWO CANDIDATES
DEBATES, CLAUDE USER BEEN
FOLLOWING SEVERAL IN YOUR
REGION, INCLUDING TWO LAST NIGHT.
HOW MUCH OF A DISCUSSION HAS
CRIME BEEN TAKING UP IN THOSE DEBATES?
I'LL START WITH YOU, JON.

The caption changes to "Dominating election talk."

Jon says THE REAL ESTATE BOARD
IN THUNDER BAY HELD A MAYORAL
DEBATE YESTERDAY AND THE FIRST
QUESTION IT ASKED OF THE
CANDIDATES REFERRED TO SOME
AREAS OF THE CITY AS WAR ZONES.
AND THAT'S HYPERBOLE FOR
CERTAIN.
THERE ISN'T, LIKE, MORTARS AND
ROCKET LAUNCHERS HAPPENING IN
THUNDER BAY.
BUT I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO
POINT THAT OUT BECAUSE IT SHOWS
JUST HOW HIGH THE TEMPERATURE
HAS RISEN ON THE CRIME
DISCUSSION.
IN THAT DEBATE, NEARLY EVERY
CANDIDATE RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF
THIS CITY LED WITH CRIME.
AND HOMELESSNESS, DRUG
ADDICTION, MENTAL HEALTH, AND
THOSE ARE DEEMED TO BE ALL SORT
OF A SNOWBALL OF THE SAME ISSUE.
AND IN FACT EVERY CANDIDATE I'VE
SPOKEN TO, WHETHER RUNNING IN
WARDS OR RUNNING AT LARGE OR
RUNNING FOR MAYOR, ARE SAYING
THAT AT THE DOOR THEY ARE
HEARING ONE ISSUE, THEY ARE
HEARING THAT SNOWBALL OF ISSUES
AS ONE ISSUE ACROSS ALL
DEMOGRAPHICS, ACROSS ALL
NEIGHBOURHOODS, ACROSS ALL AGES
AND RACES AND PROPERTY VALUES.

Jeyan says CLAUDE, WE GO EAST.
IS IT THE SAME KIND OF CONVERSATION?

Claude says NOWHERE NEAR TO THE
LEVEL OF WHAT JON IS SEEING OUT
IN THUNDER BAY.
ALSO TOO I DON'T WANT TO
DOWNPLAY IT AS WELL.
I REACHED OUT TO ALL THE MAYORAL
CANDIDATES IN NORTH BAY,
TIMMINS, SAULT STE. MARIE, AND
SUDBURY, AND GOT FEEDBACK AS TO
WHAT THEY'RE DOING WITH RESPECT
TO THEIR CRIME PREVENTION
STRATEGIES AS THEY HEAD INTO THE
MUNICIPAL ELECTION.
A LOT OF THE DEBATES, THERE WAS
A QUESTION YESTERDAY ASKED, ONE
AND TWO SAULT STE. MARIE, ONE
QUESTION FOCUSING ON CRIME.
A LOT OF GENERIC STATEMENTS.
THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE IN
REGARDS TO PREVENTION AND
INTERVENTION WHEN IT COMES TO
THOSE DEALING WITH DRUG ISSUES,
MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.
SOME OTHER CANDIDATE HAVE TOLD
ME THEY REALLY WANT TO SEE
POLICE PARTNER UP MORE WITH THE
NEIGHBOURHOODS, TO GET INTO THE
NEIGHBOURHOODS, BECAUSE WE ALL
KNOW THAT POLICE IN PRETTY MUCH
ALL AREAS, THEY'RE TAXED.
THEY CAN'T BE SOLVING EACH CRIME
EACH DAY.
SO THE BIGGEST ISSUE, THOUGH, I
FOUND, FROM CITY TO CITY, IS
THEY REALLY WANTED TO FOCUS ON
CLEANING UP THE DOWNTOWN, THE
DISCARDED NEEDLES, THE THEFTS
THAT HAPPEN DOWN THERE.
BECAUSE THERE IS A REALITY HERE
IN SOME PARTS OF NORTHEASTERN
ONTARIO IS THAT SOME OF THESE
DOWNTOWNS ARE PRETTY DANGEROUS
AND SOME PEOPLE ARE SCARED TO GO
TO DOWNTOWN AREAS BECAUSE OF THE
CRIME THAT'S HAPPENING THERE.

Jeyan says JON, THUNDER BAY
LEADS THE COUNTRY IN HATE CRIME
REPORTING, AND THERE WAS A
RECENT INVESTIGATION INTO THE
ALLEGED SYSTEMIC RACISM IN THE
THUNDER BAY POLICE SERVICE.
YOU FOLLOWED THAT EXTENSIVELY.
CAN YOU BRING US UP TO SPEED ON
WHERE WE'RE AT?
WHAT'S THE LATEST UPDATE?

Jon says WELL, THERE ARE TWO
INVESTIGATIONS STILL ACTIVE INTO
THE THUNDER BAY POLICE SERVICE,
AND ANOTHER THAT'S INTO ITS
BOARD.
WE CAN SAY WITH CERTAINTY
TONIGHT THAT THOSE WILL NOT BE
RELEASED PRIOR TO THE MUNICIPAL
ELECTIONS.
I DON'T BEGRUDGE THE CIVILIAN
WATCH DOG ORGANIZATION FOR
TAKING ITS TIME.
I THINK THAT WHEN IT IS
RELEASED, IT'S GOING TO RESONATE
ACROSS CANADA WITH MUNICIPAL
SERVICES AND POLICE SERVICES IN
SPECIFIC.
BUT IT IS DIFFICULT THAT THE NEW
COUNCIL IS GOING TO HAVE THIS
REPORT DROPPED ON IT, AND IT'S
NOT GOING TO HAVE A MANDATE FROM
THE PUBLIC AS TO HOW TO RESPOND
TO IT.
WHO IS LARGELY DEEMED TO BE THE
FRONTRUNNER FOR MAYOR, FORMER
THUNDER BAY MPP BILL MORROW HAS
ASKED NOT FOR A REPLACEMENT TO
THE OUTGOING POLICE CHIEF, AND
THE BOARD HAS RESPONDED IT WILL
OPERATE AS IT IS ENTITLED TO
OPERATE.
BUT AT THIS POINT WE'RE LESS
THAN TEN DAYS OUT FROM AN
ELECTION.
IT SEEMS UNLIKELY THAT THAT'S
GOING TO HAPPEN.

Jeyan says I WANT TO TALK ABOUT
SOME UNIQUE MEASURES THAT POLICE
DEPARTMENTS IN THE NORTHEAST ARE
TAKING TO TACKLE CRIME AND
CONNECT WITH COMMUNITY.
YOU TOUCHED A LITTLE BIT ON IT, CLAUDE.
BUT TELL ME A LITTLE BIT MORE
ABOUT WHAT THEY'RE DOING OUT THERE.

The caption changes to "Claude Sharma, @ClaudeSharma."

Claude says SO THE CURRENT
MAYOR OF SUDBURY, BRIAN BIGGAR,
WANTS TO BRING A POLICE PRESENCE
TO THE DOWNTOWN.
ONE OF THOSE WAYS IS BY HAVING A
STOREFRONT LOCATION IN THE
DOWNTOWN MALL, THE RAINBOW
CENTRE HERE IN SUDBURY.
HE SAID IF REELECTED, HE WILL
TRY TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN AND HE'S
BEEN PARTNERING UP WITH RAINBOW
MALL MANAGEMENT, AND THE
MANAGEMENT HAS SAID OVER THE
PAST YEAR THERE'S BEEN 12
ASSAULTS AT THE MALL, HUNDREDS
AND HUNDREDS OF NEEDLES
DISCARDED, A BUNCH OF THEFTS
TAKING PLACE.
SO THEY FEEL A POLICE PRESENCE
IN THE MALL WOULD BE VERY
HELPFUL.
THEY'RE ACTUALLY DOING THAT
TODAY TOO IN SAULT STE. MARIE.
THE POLICE CHIEF THERE WANTS TO
PUT A HUB INSIDE ITS DOWNTOWN
MALL.
THEY'VE BEEN WORKING ON A
PROJECT RECENTLY CALLED PROJECT
HEAT WHICH INCREASES POLICE
PRESENCE IN THE DOWNTOWN.
I'VE BEEN TOLD IT'S VERY
SUCCESSFUL, WITH ARRESTS MADE,
WITH DRUGS SEIZED.
AND ALSO TOO, ONE THING THAT IS
KIND OF MADE A BIT OF A
DIFFERENCE IN THE NORTHEAST IS
ONLINE REPORTING.
SUDBURY HAS ONLINE REPORTING.
SO CITIZENS CAN GO ONLINE AND
THEY CAN REPORT CRIMES THAT ARE
MAYBE NOT EMERGENCY ONES, LIKE
THEFTS UNDER 5,000, THEFT OF
PROPERTY, GRAFFITI.
SO THEY FOUND THAT FROM 2016 TO
2017, THEY'VE HAD A 52 percent INCREASE
IN CRIMES REPORTED ONLINE.
SAULT STE. MARIE ALSO HAS THAT
AS WELL.
TIMMINS AND NORTH BAY DO NOT
HAVE ONLINE REPORTING OF CRIMES
YET, BUT IT'S SOMETHING THEY'RE
LOOKING INTO AND MAY HAVE IN THE
NEW YEAR.
ALSO TOO, JUST GOING BACK TO
NEIGHBOURHOOD GROUPS.
THERE'S ONE SUCCESSFUL ONE HERE
IN GREATER SUDBURY, REALLY CLOSE
TO THE DOWNTOWN, IT'S CALLED THE
LOUIS STREET ASSOCIATION, KIND
OF A SOCIAL HOUSING AREA.
IT'S BEEN GOING ON SINCE 2010,
WHERE KIDS AFTER SCHOOL AREN'T
HITTING THE STREETS, THEY'RE
GETTING INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY
ACTIVITIES, GARDENING.
SO THEY FOUND THAT WHEN IT FIRST
STARTED, TO COMPARE TO NOWADAYS,
THE CALLS FOR SERVICE FOR POLICE
IN THAT AREA HAVE DROPPED
DRAMATICALLY.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Jeyan says JON, I WANT TO END WITH YOU.
YOU'VE BEEN ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL.
YOU'VE HEARD SOME INTERESTING
CRIME REDUCTION STRATEGIES
PROPOSED BY SOME OF THE CANDIDATES.
TELL ME ABOUT THEM.
DO YOU THINK THEY'LL WORK?

The caption changes to "Solutions from the campaign trail."

Jon says WELL, THE... THERE'S
AN INTERESTING ISSUE WE HAVEN'T
ADDRESSED YET, AND I THINK IT'S
ONE OF THE BIG REASONS THAT ALL
THESE SNOWBALLED ISSUES ARE
TURNING INTO THE TOP ISSUE, AND
THAT'S THAT GANGS FROM TORONTO
AND OTTAWA HAVE BEEN SETTING UP
IN HOMES IN THUNDER BAY AND
DEALING ILLICIT DRUGS IN
RESIDENTIAL AREAS, AND THAT
EXPOSES PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT
NORMALLY EXPOSED TO CRIME TO A
VERY... TO A VERY DIFFERENT
LANDSCAPE THAN THEY'RE
ACCUSTOMED TO, TO SAY THE LEAST.
AS A RESULT, THE CANDIDATES IN
THUNDER BAY, PARTICULARLY FOR
MAYOR, ARE ALL KIND OF RUNNING
ON BOTH SIDES OF THIS ISSUE,
BOTH LEFT AND RIGHT.
WHERE YOU HAD THE BOOGEYMAN OF
THE LAST GENERATION THAT WAS A
HOMELESS PERSON ADDICTED TO
OPIATES, AROUND HERE MOSTLY
INDIGENOUS, AND THAT PERSON IS
NO LONGER SELLABLE AS THE
BOOGEYMAN OF CRIME.
THAT PERSON IS NOW DEEMED THE
VICTIM OF CRIME BECAUSE THE
YARDSTICKS HAVE MOVED.
AND SO THEY CAN SAY FROM THE
LEFT THAT THAT PERSON NEEDS TO
BE TREATED, WHILE SAYING FROM
THE RIGHT THAT WE HAVE THESE
VERY VIOLENT CRIMINALS THAT ARE
PUSHING CRIME AND DRUGS ON OUR
CITY, AND THEY NEED TO BE DEALT
WITH IN MORE OF A PERSUASIVE MANNER.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Jeyan says ALWAYS AN
INTERESTING CONVERSATION WHEN WE
HAVE YOU GUYS ON BOARD.
THANKS AGAIN.
THAT'S JON THOMPSON AND CLAUDE
SHARMA JOINING US FROM THUNDER
BAY AND SUDBURY.

An animated slate reads "Ontario Hubs. Ontario Hubs are made possible by The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: Ontario Hubs: Combatting Crime in the North