Recent stats from the Saskatoon Police Service and Saskatoon Fire Department show crime is not rising in the Saskatoon neighborhood of Fairhaven despite claims to the contrary.

The neighborhood has been the subject of discussion over the past several months after the Saskatoon Tribal Council established its Emergency Wellness Centre in the area in December 2022. The shelter houses 106 homeless people in the community.

Some people who live in the neighbourhood have called for the shelter to be closed claiming it has caused an influx of crime.

However, a report released this week from Saskatoon police and fire shows violent crimes has fluctuated in the area over the years. The report shows that crime increased in one month before the shelter opened and a few months afterward, but has since lowered to 2021 levels.

The report shows a general increase in crime across the city, but nothing to suggest that the Emergency Wellness Centre has caused a significant increase in crime, as has been claimed.

At a press conference at the Saskatoon Tribal Council head office on Friday, tribal chief Mark Arcand says he feels the report was “validating.”

“This is a city problem, it’s not a neighbourhood problem,” said Arcand.

The Tribal Chief says the report shows the amount of misinformation that has been spread over the past year, targeted at the shelter.

“The rumour was crime went up 1100 times, so what does that tell you? Somebody is not telling the truth, somebody is not being honest,” said Arcand. “Whose telling the truth? Whose putting fear into people? We’re not.”

In the meantime, Arcand announced that the agreement with the province for STC to operate the Emergency Wellness Centre has been renewed for another year.

With the renewed funding agreement and the favourable stats on crime, Arcand says he feels happy.

“At the end of the day we have been targeted, we’ve been targeted about us being shut down, they don’t want (the shelter) in that neighbourhood, that’s as simple as it is,” he said.  “We are producing outcomes and results… this is validating that.”

(PHOTO: STC Tribal Chief Mark Arcand.  Photo by Joel Willick)