Re: Public safety and Community in the West Shore
Last week’s Gazette featured letters to the editor regarding the issue of public safety in the West Shore, and the need for greater policing in our communities. Of particular concern to readers was the issue of violence against women. Their comments resonated with me, having just given a keynote address on the subject at the Women in Hats conference.
As the federal Green Party candidate in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, I have had the opportunity to discuss the issue of public safety and violence against women with many residents. Overwhelmingly, people have expressed their desire for increased public dialogue; something I wish to develop during the coming months.
I believe it is critical for our community to hold public forums to discuss our challenges, highlight our successes, collectively seek solutions and support each other. We must also support first responders, who are left with the heavy burden of dealing with these darker aspects of society.
There are consequences associated with the rapid growth in population when infrastructure doesn’t follow pace, and these consequences not only reflect a burden on physical infrastructure but also emotional and spiritual health. We need to build community and maintain a sense of belonging. The disconnect between the two are manifesting a legitimate fear.