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HomeNewsCouncil supports Community Safety and Well-Being Plan

Council supports Community Safety and Well-Being Plan

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North Bay’s Community Safety and Well-Being plan has been adopted by city council.

The majority of councillors voted in favour of the plan, which includes four priorities, 15 strategies and 52 action items.

The lone vote against came from Councillor George Maroosis. 

He told Council on Tuesday night that the plan is incomplete. 

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“It doesn’t go far enough, it doesn’t talk about strategies for prevention and strategies for treatment and what it is we have to do as a municipality whether it’s to assist in financing. But certainly one of the things we need to do is lobby the guys with the money,” Maroosis says.  

“Unless we make an asserted effort to have both the federal and provincial governments involved in assisting us in treating people with addictions and treating people with mental illness, we are never going to solve the problem of homelessness, it’s just going to get worse,” he says. 

Several councillors spoke in favour of the plan, including Councillor Mark King, who is also the chair of the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB). 

“The plan, in my estimation and in others in northern Ontario, is one of the best plans that has been put together that we’ve seen.  That is coming from other organizations throughout northern Ontario.  That’s the important first step,” he says. 

King says the plan offers steps on how to move forward, but also says the shortfall is about the money. 

“DNSSAB has been going from pillar to post trying to find money, we’ve lobbied as much as we can at the provincial level,” he says. 

King says they’ve been highly successful with their transitional housing and low-barrier shelter. 

“We will, by probably the end of August, have 30 transitional apartments ready that I hope to see occupied by many of these people that are on the street,” he says, pointing out it is only part of the answer. 

King also says the Northern Ontario Service Delivery Association, of which he is Vice-Chair, will be lobbying hard to get support systems in place.  

Councillor Johanne Brousseau says this is only the beginning. 

“We never had a plan before, we now have a plan, we have a roadmap, keep in mind that it is not etched in stone, it is an evolving document and we will keep on adding stuff and removing stuff as we move forward and that’s how we’re going to improve this community,” she says. 

As legislated by the province, council needed to adopt the plan before July 1st.

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