The Vital Sign Report of Toronto, reviewed the major problems our citizens faced everyday in 2012.
The report began by presenting the opinion of about half of the cities population, who feel very comfortable walking in their neighbourhoods always (Vital Signs). Meaning that half of the population does not feel that safe even in the area they know well and go through every day.
The report then cued in on the crime statistics of the year, still under the heading of safety. The following are the details I found most intriguing which may define a greater problem then the government would like to address.
Most of the homicide victims in Toronto are young (one-third were younger than 25 in 2012). Are these youth the ones that will grow up and become the two-thirds above 25 who are still committing crimes? This information is not accounted, but the next few pages of safety are focused on programs which are out there to rehabilitate youth gang members, help marginalized children prepare for employment opportunities, and help them understand the judicial system.
Which brings up another striking fact that “Almost half of young Torontonians feel the judicial system isn’t likely to treat them fairly.” This statement could be considered a paranoia of the youth, but doesn’t all paranoia stem from some form of truth? This calls into question the perspective we have of Toronto youth and should make us question why is this so?
Clearly youth are our future, and it appears from the statistics that the government is taking measures to offer at risk youth programs to get them off the street and into better peer groups. But for the most part they do not enter these programs without a push on the back. I think the government needs to look at the root of these youth violence problems instead of offering a helping hand when damage has already been done and they are facing the bad side of the law.
Poverty levels seem to be getting higher. “Childcare subsidies are only serving 28% of low income kids.” Showing a lack of support for these low wage families. As well ” There is a link between [a] school’s socio-economic profile and the percentage of students taking applied courses,” meaning the majority of poor kids are in applied courses, and rich kids in academic classes. I think all these facts link together to provide deficit in attention paid to low income neighbourhoods. As a result of the governments holdback on assistance education is being de-valued and this reflects children’s’ performance at school. If a parent can’t afford after day school care their work and their money becomes the priority in order to provide for the child, and the importance of education becomes secondary. If this is how a child grows up, with money being of primary importance a child could easily be mislead into believing education is not that important, especially when schools in poor areas are promoting applied, second best classes to most of their students. This shows a lack of stimulation and motivation in education from kids in low economic families. The government needs to solve these problems instead of trying to tie back their stray ends.
Toronto’s Vital Signs. 2012. Toronto Community Foundation.