As your City Councillor, Kristyn will continue to:
- Push the Province to invest its mental health and addictions funds in the downtown east to meet the crisis where it is happening and provide a roadway to recovery
- Expand on successes to date with new city investments and community collaborations across the downtown east by developing comprehensive community health and safety plans, investing in safe and sustainable community housing, and addressing chronic failings through the upcoming 5-year action plan for the downtown east
- Focus on ending violence and getting guns out of our neighbourhoods through continued advocacy on Bill C-71, seeking a ban on the sale of handguns and assault weapons in Toronto addressing the root causes of violence by spreading new economic opportunities, more direct engagement, and inclusion through the City Budget process and in policy development.
Kristyn Wong-Tam has been City Council’s leading advocate for making downtown east neighbourhoods healthy and safe for all by working with neighbourhood associations, community housing residents, shelters and not-for-profits to conduct dozens of safety audits and make major new investments in communities in crisis. As a leading advocate for gun control in Canada, she has consistently pressed the federal government to get handguns and assault weapons out of our urban communities and to invest in new economic opportunities for the next generation to turn to.
Kristyn successfully created the new 12-month action plan for the downtown east that is immediately investing millions of new dollars in our communities with urgent needs. For neighbourhoods where the opioid crisis is concentrated, this will mean cleaning needles and illegal waste from parks, alleyways, and public locations. This plan is also responsible for many new harm-reduction worker hires - positions responsible for going into our communities to get street-involved individuals connected with critical services and to bring drug use into safer, supervised locations. Kristyn is now working with City staff to develop the 5-year action plan which will address the chronic failings in housing, shelters, and social supports that have contributed to the current addictions and mental health crisis.
Kristyn has worked with Toronto Community Housing tenants and management to invest in building safety and develop community supports that has helped some of the most challenging buildings for tenants become examples of success. One such site is 291 George Street, which had serious safety issues and could not achieve full occupancy in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. Working with tenants, TCHC management, and community partners, Kristyn found the investments and opportunities to improve the building and support residents. Now it is a success story and an example of the improvements Kristyn is championing through the larger George Street Revitalization Strategy and similar investments in Community Housing buildings across the downtown east.
Kristyn worked with the Toronto Police Service, the Church-Wellesley Village BIA, and area residents to implement the new community officer program that has brought officers deeply familiar with the neighbourhood onto the street, and out of their vehicles, to engage with residents, business owners, and the broader community on a daily basis. These officers have become familiar with individuals in crisis, those threatening public safety, and the site-specific issues of the neighbourhood and have made a huge improvement in the community’s well being. This program has become a model of how policing can be done better in Toronto, handling complex cases and enhancing community safety with the understanding and compassion necessary to avoid victimizing those in crisis.
Kristyn has been the leading advocate for gun control at City Hall for seven years successfully getting Council support to lobby the federal government for restrictions on assault weapons, handgun, and ammunition sales within the City of Toronto, as well as the maintenance of the long gun registry data. She has personally submitted testimony supporting better background check standards and participated in the federal roundtable consultations on gun safety legislation. Kristyn has also been a vocal advocate for eliminating loopholes and keeping guns out of the hands of violent offenders through the federal government’s Bill C-71.