TORONTO - With bodies bleeding everywhere, and anywhere, you can tell Toronto politicians just don’t know what the hell to do.
“We need to enhance community engagement programs so our young people have alternatives to turning to a life of gangs, guns and violence,” Mayor John Tory wrote in a letter seeking a meeting with Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Yasir Naqvi and federal Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale.
Trade hanging out in a club with celebrities, enjoying full bottle service and limos, for playing hoops and extra math and geography tutoring? Or turning your guns in for a food card rather than dining out in five-star restaurants?
Good luck with that.
But the mayor does care and deserves marks for trying.
“I would like to discuss how your governments can partner with the City of Toronto to provide further resources towards these programs — and to the efforts of our police — in targeting gangs and putting a halt to the terror and misery they inflict on our neighbourhoods,” he wrote.
But if you are going to those guys for help in solving our murder rate — which has more than doubled compared to the same time last year — you may be disappointed.
Just last month, with concerns of terror attacks like we have seen on our soldiers, Goodale told reporters we need to “reach out and build inclusive, cohesive communities across the country that will be resistant to resilient in respect of the trends to radicalization” and ask “what are the root causes? How do you identify the problem in advance? What are the vulnerabilities? What are the right positive messages?”
He’s the guy who ended the carding practice by police and is bringing in new rules next year.
“We, as a government, stand opposed to any arbitrary, random stops by the police simply to collect information when there are no grounds or reason to do so,” Naqvi said last year. “We have heard from the community that street checks, by definition, are arbitrary, as well as discriminatory, and therefore cannot be regulated. They must simply be ended.”
Street checks, apparently, will be replaced with police letting people know they don’t have to answer questions, and instead are allowed to walk away without compliance.
Thanks, minister. Toronto Police now feel they are being judged through the “racism” lens and really have no idea what they are supposed to do to keep the city safe without getting called bigots, having stuff thrown at them, or facing risk from heavily armed thugs who will kill for fun.
That’s going to be some meeting. Naqvi from Ottawa and Goodale, the Member of Parliament for Regina-Wascana. Can’t wait for their solutions. The gangsters must be nervous.
Of course, Tory himself buckled to the carding activists and instead of asking for quotas to be dropped, the whole engagement tool was thrown out the window.
To be fair to the mayor, he did acknowledge the actual problem, didn’t hide from the ugly numbers, and is seeking solutions.
But instead of wasting time with those Liberals who are part of the problem, Tory should drop the failed root causes narrative and just let police be police again. Beef up their numbers, create a TAVIS-like task force for 2016, take some of the $3 billion Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged for Africa and Indonesia and develop better housing here and a proper information tip line and witness protection program.
Forget the meeting with the ministers and let Chief Mark Saunders and the men and women of the Toronto Police Association, led by Mike McCormack, do their thing.
They know who the bad guys are, where they are and what weapons they have. Let police spend a whole year rooting them out with raid after raid after raid, and get Naqvi and Goodale to help pay for it.
It’s clear politicians don’t know what to do, but when pregnant women and babies are dying, they are going to have to do something soon.