Crime prevention group gets chop

Last June, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police recognized Crime Prevention Ottawa for the group’s work on a project that dramatically improved the fortunes of troubled Vanier neighbourhoods.

While CPO’s biggest initiative to date is the Together for Vanier project, Crime Prevention Ottawa executive director Nancy Worsfold said it also created the Ottawa Youth Gang Prevention Initiative, organized public forums and conferences for service providers, and conducted two major research reports, as well as helped to secure nearly $1 million in funding for community organizations from senior levels of government.

“Our job is to build the community’s capacity to make the whole community safer and help everyone do their part,” she said yesterday. “Our strength is in our partners and working together for a safer Ottawa.”

But on Friday, the city’s audit, budget and finance committee voted to do away with the group in order to slash $510,000 from the city’s 2010 budget.

The committee also approved a $3 million in service reduction for OC Transpo, while hiking bus fares by an average of 7.5 per cent starting in March. Instead of hiring 63 new paramedics in 2010, the city will bring on 23.

Bowing to public pressure, the committee did away with proposed user fees for recycling and the Green Bin program. The cost of those programs will be shared by all taxpayers.

The committee also requested that the Ottawa Public Library and Police Services Boards reduce their 2010 budget requirements by $1 million each and that Hydro Ottawa increase its dividend to the city by $2 million in 2010.

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