Violence is not the answer
What is going on with all of the violence that we are seeing of late? Has it always been there but we are more aware of it because of social media and recording cell phones? Is it increasing?
We see the violence on the news and in social media around the world.
Somewhat distant but still unsettling to witness the increasing levels of aggression and unrest.
In France, riots have become a regular occurrence, while the Ukraine-Russia war continues to devastate lives and displace millions.
Even in New Zealand, a country typically known for its peaceful nature, protests and counter-protests have led to hostility and division.
But lately it seems more even at home.
As a proud member of the Kelowna community, I cannot help but express my growing concern over the escalating violence we are witnessing in our city.
The recent attack on Gagandeep Singh and the assault on a 15 year old girl and her friend by a group of other teens this past weekend serve as stark reminders that we cannot afford to be complacent in addressing this issue. It is crucial that we come together as a community to understand and combat the root causes of this disturbing trend.
Violence is not the answer. Rather, it only exacerbates existing issues and creates more pain and suffering.
If this is true, why is there more violence?
It is clear that a stronger focus on public safety is needed now more than ever. This includes investing in community programs, increasing law enforcement presence, and working to address the underlying issues that contribute to violence. As a community, we must support these efforts and strive to create an environment where all our residents feel safe and protected.
So where do Provincial politicians come in?
In Nanaimo this last week, business owners and residents peacefully protested the lack of provincial supports and intervention. I think that they are correct.
Our elected officials have a significant role to play in this process. It is their responsibility to listen to the concerns of their constituents and engage in meaningful conversations about the issues affecting our communities.
They give this feedback to the Minister of Public Safety, who can instruct the RCMP to increase their activities to protect public safety. Despite a year of prodding by my BC Liberal colleagues, in addition to the general public, it is only in the last few months that action has been taken.
But there is more that can be done.
Government must be proactive in addressing the factors that contribute to violence. It is through their leadership and commitment that we can hope to see real change.
As a community, it is time for us to wake up and recognize the urgency of this situation. We must come together to address the rising violence in Kelowna and beyond. Let us engage in open and honest dialogue, focusing on the root causes of these issues and working collectively to create a safer, more peaceful world for everyone.
My question to you this week is this:
Do you feel safe in Kelowna?
I love hearing from you.
Please email me at Renee.Merrifield.MLA@leg.bc.ca or call the office at 250-712-3620.