Furey: Time to Reclaim Toronto Parks
Action plan would remove drug and violence-ridden tent encampments, step up police patrols
NEWS – May 18, 2023
TORONTO – This coming weekend’s warm weather is a reminder that parks are for families and children – and that the encampments that have taken over our parks must not be allowed to continue.
“Access to clean, safe parks is a cornerstone of a vibrant city.” Furey said, at a press conference held at Allan Gardens, a park littered with encampments. “Yet people tell me they’re now afraid to visit our parks and even trails – especially seniors, single women and families with kids.”
“That’s just wrong – especially on the eve of the Victoria Day long weekend, when folks only want to get out, get some exercise and have fun.”
These encampments are cropping up in public parks all across Toronto, Furey noted. While residents have reclaimed Trinity Bellwoods Park, Allan Gardens remains a mess. Nearby families deserve a place to play, he stressed.
“I know what it’s like to scan a playground for needles before letting my kids play,” said Furey, who previously lived a short walk from troubled Moss Park.
To end this blight, Furey has proposed the following tough-but-fair measures:
- removing tent encampments in all parks, which are often scenes of violence, harassment, theft and serious drug abuse
- increasing security patrols by Toronto Police Services and other security personnel as available at parks and trails, and
- requiring drug injection site staff to do regular clean-up sweeps of parks close to their facilities
The recent troubling news of a man being arrested for sexual assault against a woman on a Scarborough trail is a reminder that our city will benefit from a more visible police presence in our public green spaces.
“We face a plain choice,” Furey stressed, “between the rights of people all across our City who follow the rules, and the “rights” of those who don’t.
“I will stand for the rights of our law-abiding citizens every time.”
Mike Bendixen | Senior Media Advisor
The Anthony Furey for Mayor Campaign