View Full Version : Time for real anti-gun leadership in Toronto

07-18-2012, 06:43 AM
TORONTO - Nearly seven years ago to the day, during the last Summer of the Gun, the politicians at City Hall, led by Mr. Soft-on-Crime David Miller, had a high-profile emergency confab at police HQ to make it look like they were doing something.

Then they proceeded to plunk millions of dollars into social workers, feel-good programs, priority neighbourhoods, hugging and stroking youth to allegedly tackle the “root causes” that had led to the guns and gangs crisis.

Newly minted police Chief Bill Blair did heighten police patrols in the Scarborough neighbourhoods largely targeted by the gangbangers in 2005 – at least at first.

But community policing, that is, a stronger police presence in those communities, was a stopgap measure only.

Heaven forbid we should expect some of Blair’s men and women in blue to actually get out of their cars and walk the beat on an ongoing basis. For shame.

In early 2006, Miller’s so-called partnerships and action teams in the priority neighbourhoods started to take root so quickly, I wrote a column predicting his initiatives would become yet another socialist growth industry.

Indeed it has.

According to figures acquired yesterday, some $46 million in capital funds (city, provincial and federal money, United Way plus some private sector dollars) has flowed into 34 projects between 2005 and last year. That includes youth spaces, playgrounds, skateboard parks, arts and media spaces.

Another $78 million in operating dollars went toward youth-specific programs and services for vulnerable youth in the city’s 13 priority neighbourhoods over the same six years.

That does not include any money to staff what is now an entire branch of city people devoted to these at-risk neighbourhoods and community engagement.

I’m pretty certain the gang bangers didn’t much care about the “root causes” of their violence when they injured 23 people and killed two others at a community barbecue late Monday night in a Lawrence-Morningside Aves. area Toronto Community Housing Corp. (TCHC) development – or when they opened fire in the Eaton Centre one month ago.

In fact, I’m guessing the $124 million and counting already spent on hugging and stroking hasn’t done a whole lot of good.

Ditto for bullet and gun bans.

Real leadership at City Hall (and I dare say provincially) is forever lacking when the going gets tough.

Instead our politicians resort to wringing their hands, mouthing platitudes about the “senseless” nature of the crimes or to ridiculous statements about Toronto being a safe city as Mayor Rob Ford did after visiting the scene Tuesday morning.

At the risk of sounding somewhat brazen, it’s time our politicians pulled their heads out of the sand and face reality.

We have serious guns and gangs issues in Toronto and obviously throwing $124 million-plus at the problem, banning guns and wringing one’s hands in despair, has not made it go away.

In fact, I would suggest the gangbangers are laughing at our politicians, who seem to be actually surprised that this is happening again and once again, bereft of practical ideas.

Perhaps real leadership is not that complex.

It’s not just a matter of catching the shooters (and handing them strict sentences) – although that would obviously be a start.

Instead of throwing more money at the hugging and stroking B.S., why not do what the communities impacted suggested in 2005 and continue to call for now?

I’m talking about increasing police presence on an ongoing basis in the impacted communities – not wheeling around in their cars but putting actual feet on the street getting to know the community’s residents and establishing trust.

If necessary, take cops out from behind their desks to do so.

Fancy that idea.

The TCHC also needs to beef up its security in impacted housing developments instead of relying on its ineffectual mobile teams.

(It is interesting to note that in July 2006 when the newly formed Guardian Angels Canada tried to help out with patrols in a crime-ridden TCHC building at Sherbourne and Dundas St. E., ex-CEO Keiko Nakamura promptly refused to sanction the use of the Angels on their property. What a travesty.)

When the dust settles how about some real leadership from City Hall?

You know – the kind that puts political correctness aside and creates a real plan to tackle this mounting problem together with concerned leaders in the black community, the police, TCHC, faith groups and provincial lawmakers.

Ford said in a statement late Tuesday afternoon that “he will not rest” until the thugs are “run out of town.”

We’re waiting Mr. Mayor.


07-18-2012, 09:00 AM
Ford said in a statement late Tuesday afternoon that “he will not rest” until the thugs are “run out of town.”

I would rather see "killed or locked up in a stinking pit"

Those two bastards should be lined up against a wall and shot dead infront of all there sissy a$$ gang banger buddies

07-18-2012, 10:06 AM
The articles good, but the title is confusing. The title should be, "Time for real anti-crime leadership in Toronto" or something along those lines. The writer is calling for what many of us have been saying for years. More police presence not banning more guns... Very logical actually.

Rory McCanuck
07-18-2012, 10:59 AM
Agreed about the title; I was all wound up and then started reading.
The author makes a good point, walking police is about the only
reasonable answer.

07-18-2012, 02:53 PM