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OPINION: Foolish “Leaders” Spend On Diversity Gardens While Winnipeg Crime Rises

WINNIPEG, MB – There’s nothing political leaders like more than a photo-op. And the best kind of photo-op is a politically correct one.

So, you can imagine what the politicians thought when they heard of the chance to spend our money on, and then attend the opening of the “Diversity Gardens.”

Think of all the great social media and headlines that would generate!

There’s only one little problem: As the City of Winnipeg spends $10 million on the Diversity Gardens, crime in the city is rising and Winnipeg Police are in need of more resources.

Crime rises, “leaders” take selfies

As reported in a Mainstreet Research Poll, Winnipeg is seen as the most unsafe city in Canada. 55% of respondents say Winnipeg is unsafe, vs 37% who say it is safe. This is dead last out of 15 major Canadian cities. Additionally, the crime rate went up by 13% and the crime severity index increased by 16%.

So, Winnipeg is suffering both in terms of reputation and the danger of crime. And at the same time, the Winnipeg Police Association is warning of budget pressures that could reduce the safety of Winnipeggers even further.

With all this in mind, taking selfies and spending money on a “Diversity Garden” should be the last thing on the minds of those in power.

They need to stop wasting our money and focus on the basic functions of government – especially keeping the people of Winnipeg safe.

It’s time to stop the foolishness and get back to common-sense.

Spencer Fernando, MyToba News

Photo – Andrew McCrea

Spencer Fernando is a columnist and reporter for MyToba News. You can read more of Spencer’s writing at his website SpencerFernando.com
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7 Comments

  • Debbie Ristimaki says:

    I would agree that the safety of a city’s citizens needs to be a priority for its elected leaders. Having said that; I would also like to point out that the organization (Mainstreet) that did the poll also said that “Media stories shape public perception of safety of a city.”

    Would this piece not be an example of doing just that?

    We, as a community, need to do a better job of changing public perception and initiatives like the Diversity Gardens need to celebrated. Assiniboine Park is one of Winnipeg’s gems – one has only to look at how many people are out enjoying it. AND how many more will do so into the future.

  • Ron says:

    Once again Spencer, you nailed it. If you and I and thousands of others are on the same page, why are politicians so far off on common sense ?? Will the Diversity Gardens be diverse enough? Will they be inclusive enough ? Will they trigger outrage ? Carbon footprint ? So many questions and consultations that have to be sorted out before we even think about proceeding with this project, all while Winnipeg burns to the ground.

  • Debbie Ristimaki says:

    I would agree that the safety of a city’s citizens needs to be a priority for its elected leaders. Having said that; I would also like to point out that the organization (Mainstreet) that did the poll also said that “Media stories shape public perception of safety of a city.”

    Would this piece not be an example of doing just that?

    We, as a community, need to do a better job of changing public perception and initiatives like the Diversity Gardens need to celebrated. Assiniboine Park is one of Winnipeg’s gems – one has only to look at how many people are out enjoying it. AND how many more will do so into the future.

  • Ben Kosiba says:

    I completely agree with you that the “Diversity Garden” is a huge waste of taxpayers’ money. I don’t agree with your justification that the city is in the grips of a crime wave.
    The “mainstream” poll you refer to is strictly personal opinions and is based on perception not data. The statistics you claim the crime rate went up 13% are out of context. Is that 13% in the last week, last month, a seasonal spike, what? The crime severity index is an arbitrary index created to alarm and misinform the public to justify the police’s cry for more funding.
    If you are going to try and justify a suggested “better” use of tax dollars, please provide more evidence and don’t rely on flawed and incomplete statistics. You are only contributing to the public perception (I know it’s the result of a targeted propaganda campaign) that the media is engaged in “Fake News”. Good start-do better!

  • David says:

    Maybe we need some Unity gardens. Unity is strength. Diversity without any unity is division.

  • Mel says:

    One serious type of crime that is rising across Canada, and that we as a society need to take a stand against, is hate crime. The Diversity Gardens are a visible symbol that we welcome folks from all backgrounds, and is a slap in the face against any intolerant bigots that are hoping to have their ignorant, racist views normalized in our political discourse. A government that builds a Diversity Garden is probably not a government that will let racism grow unchecked. So from that angle, it’s a gain for society.
    Also, dollar for dollar, spending on social programs reduces future crime better than spending the same money on police. So if you’re going to argue that the money shouldn’t have been spent on a public garden (and I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt having public gardens helps make life much more pleasant) then consider that the money would be better spent on our critically underfunded social programs, rather than on more police, who actually are already pretty well funded.

  • Dee says:

    Just think, we have a groups of people that needs 10 million dollars far more urgently than any diversity group. The homeless, the disabled, the veterans, the elderly, the terminally ill children, and for those who I haven’t mentioned, I apologize. Then there are our hospitals, our streets and highways, our parks, our recreational facilities, and our infrastructure. Diversity is only a word. Anyone who wants to use the word is seeking attention, (including the politicians) describing themselves as different. Why not just be “a part of” instead of “apart from”? You don’t have to change yourself to be “a part of”. A famous actor said “the needs of the many out way the needs of the few”. We are all a part of the many.