The Province newspaper provided this vague direction on making our city more civil. Their message is to use the heavy, and expensive, hand of law enforcement. The comments pretty much mirror this too. Throw them all in jail!
The Province also makes small mention of how we should emphasize more respect in our schools. Intensifying crime enforcement is a lot like the proverbial hamster on his wheel. We'll never move forward unless we teach generations to respect their own communities.
Educator and author Michael Dallaire argues for a change to the school curriculum as part of the answer (thanks, Christopher, for the link). The editorial does not provide any specifics on how this could be achieved, but the core argument, that children eventually rebel against being treated "as a consumer or a future worker," is compelling.
It is time to return Canadian education to its traditional and core purpose, to prepare the whole person to live a full life as a Canadian citizen and as a citizen of the world. Such an education embraces the communal, societal and environmental dimensions of human life.
As a community focused person, this is music to my ears. I believe that a new emphasis must be placed on citizenship alongside academia in our schools. There's a lot of evidence that we're turning out kids that are more focused on their own achievements, than on ways they can benefit the world around them. A 40-year decline in voter rates among our youth is partial evidence for this.
I'm personally very interested in this topic. With further inquiry I hope to add some substance to Dallaire's argument, and even support the Province's notion that schools are the key ingredient to our city's success.