Safe City Execs Speak Out

Brampton Safe City Association abruptly closed its doors in June 2015 after 32 years of providing programs in Brampton that included Neighbourhood Watch, Greatest Neighbourhood Contest and Youth Education and Safety programs. The closure was the result of changes in how City Council opted to fund community programs. The group and its Executive Director Larry Zacher are under a cloud of controversy with money owing to the city.

For many years, groups such as Safe City and Brampton Arts Council received dedicated funding from the city that could be relied on year after year. Mayor Linda Jeffrey and the city’s councillors voted to change the funding model after the 2014 municipal elections to allow other groups to apply annually for grants.

The City committed itself to “the development of a robust, culturally-vibrant and self sufficient non-profit sector through the provision of community-based grants that align with the City’s strategic priorities.” These priorities are categorized into four streams: Arts and Culture, Festivals and Celebrations, Minor Donations, and Sports Park and Recreation.

Applications for the 2017 Grant Process will be accepted until Nov 1, 2016. Find out More.

In this episode we hear directly from Councillor Pat Fortini of Ward 7 and 8 who has been a vocal critic of Safe City and is “glad” that their funding was cut. He is adamant that the group should be answering to council and providing bank statements as a way to show how funding was being spent.We also hear from Safe City’s Executive Director Zacher, Board President Winston Mapp and Board Member Jim Bird who answer questions related to the controversies including the group’s finances and staff wages. Mr. Zacher explains why 70% of the group’s funding went to staffing and how both the City and Peel Police allocate an even higher percentage.

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