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Manitoba government implements plan to improve safety in city centre

Manitoba government implements plan to improve safety in city centre
Manitoba government implements plan to improve safety in city centre

The Manitoba government has announced a new action plan to improve safety in downtown Winnipeg.

Premier Wab Kinew made the announcement during a press conference on Tuesday, saying the province is making nearly $1.5 million available in 2024-2025 to support three initiatives that together form the City Centre Safety Action Plan.

“Our government is tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. We need to combine both types of measures if we really want to make the city centre safer in the long term,” the prime minister said.

“When someone is struggling with addiction, we need to respond with compassion and a health-based approach, which is why we’re bringing that forward today.”

The initiatives include $435,672 to increase the visibility of the Downtown Community Safety Partnership; $100,000 for enhanced mental health training for downtown partners providing mental health services; and $1,063,000 to establish a sobering center in N’Dinawemak – Our Relatives’ Place.

The province noted that some funding for these initiatives is provided by the Winnipeg Mayor’s Office and Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.

“Today we are combining the two approaches: a strong community, compassionate outreach with health care resources that support that, along with the direct action we know is needed to keep the people of Winnipeg and Manitoba safe during this drug challenge we are all going through,” Kinew said.

The province added that this action plan builds on feedback it received at a public safety summit. The plan forms the basis of a comprehensive safety strategy, which is in development.