WINNIPEG – Canadians believe Winnipeg to be the least safe city. That’s according to a new poll by Mainstreet Research that asked people to rank 15 cities.
According to the poll, 56 per cent of Canadians indicated they believe Winnipeg is unsafe, followed by Toronto, Montreal, Saskatoon then Edmonton.
“Most cities received rankings that were not representative of their true crime rates,” Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research said.
Winnipeg’s crime rate has been falling for years but the grim title ‘murder capital’ seems to have stuck with Canadians.
“For many years Winnipeg was the top homicide city in the country or number two fighting it out with Edmonton so that’s kind of burned in people’s minds,” said Michael Weinrath, a criminal justice professor at the University of Winnipeg.
Mayor Brian Bowman is hoping if the city continues to successfully host large events like the Grey Cup and Women’s World Cup, the perception of Winnipeg being unsafe will change.
“People are leaving here with an improved impression, and we’re going to keep doing that so we can continue to ensure that the perception matches the reality,” he said.
Tourism Winnipeg doesn’t plan to change their strategy at all when it comes to attracting people to visit Winnipeg.
The Conference Board of Canada projected travel numbers to Winnipeg would be across a broad number of categories.
They’ll continue to accentuate the city’s positives in their pitches to secure major events and conventions, “I don’t want to talk about mosquitoes or cold weather or potholes I want to talk about the fact that we’re having national sporting event after national sporting event, here, because this is the greatest place to do it,” said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg.
The strategy is supported by Mayor Bowman, who is confident the impression of Winnipeg around Canada will change soon.
“What I’ll be really interested to see is how those perceptions change over the coming years,” he said.