Mayor Sendzik meets with Chief McGuire to discuss Queenston Street community response
July 26, 2016 – St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik met with Niagara Regional Police Chief Jeff McGuire this week to discuss community issues and police activity in the Queenston Street and Gale Crescent neighbourhood. The discussion with the Chief comes after the Mayor held meetings with local business owners, service agencies, public health officials and city councillors to discuss the neighbourhood’s needs and challenges.
“I’ve heard from many residents and community leaders who are concerned by the police response in the Queenston Street neighbourhood and what will come next for the women who were arrested. Earlier this week I had an opportunity to share those concerns, including my own, with the police chief. Chief McGuire and I will continue to work with the community to address the needs of all citizens that live and work in the neighbourhood.”
Earlier this year Mayor Sendzik launched the Compassionate City project, an initiative to address issues of homelessness, poverty and marginalization. The Compassionate City project is focused on building relationships, connecting resources and creating a culture of compassion to address these difficult challenges. For the past year, Mayor Sendzik has been meeting with local business owners, the police service and city staff to identify immediate and long-term priorities to support the Queenston Street community. The Compassionate City project has helped start several projects this year including the Centennial Gardens pilot project. The project is a partnership between the City, the Niagara Regional Police and the Canadian Mental Health Association which partners officers on foot patrol and mental health workers to conduct outreach in the neighbourhood. The pilot continues until October 2016 and will then be evaluated for success and next steps.
The City of St. Catharines is also investing in the neighbourhood through improved street lighting and visibility and through the revitalization of Centennial Gardens. Further park improvements are planned as part of the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan and in partnership with volunteers and community groups including Greening Niagara.
“The Queenston Street neighbourhood is a community in transition. It is an important and strategic location in the heart of our city, with a unique identity and great potential. As we look to build a city of the future, it is important that we work together with all sectors, from business to the social sector and government to make sure that no one is left behind. A compassionate city is a place where we all come together to make sure that everyone’s needs are met and everyone can be a part of the community.”