In the aftermath of the shootings in Scarborough that killed two and injured more than a dozen, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has declared a war on gang members, saying they should leave Toronto and not be allowed to return to the city when they get out of jail.
Confused about what the country’s immigration laws would allow him to do exactly, Ford has been quoted as saying:
Maybe Iím not an expert on, you know, the ministries, but Iím saying that if itís foreign affairs or immigration and citizenship, I want to talk to the PMO to find out if we can Ė and maybe we canít. But Iím just trying to clarify that if youíre caught with a gun and convicted of a gun crime, I do not want you living in this city any more.
Immigration†Minister Jason Kenney declared his support for Ford, saying “foreign gangsters” should be deported without delay.†Of course, Ford was not talking about ‘foreign gangsters,’ he was talking about any criminals. He wants any criminal to be banned from Toronto upon their release from prison, demonstrating his basic misunderstanding about Canada’s constitution and mobility laws.When Kenney became aware of what Ford had talked about in full, he then told an interviewer, that “obviously” we can’t tell people where they can and can’t live.
Kenney is being criticized for blaming foreigners in a case where none are proven to have been involved, and as a gang expert from the University of Toronto pointed out to the†Toronto Star, immigrant communities actually have lower levels of criminality and gang violence.
Ford is also asking the province for more police officers to focus on ‘high-crime’ neighborhoods, but the Premier has said this is no a quick fix situation. Dalton McGuinty wants to focus on more social programs and prevention. Toronto’s police chief agrees, telling the Toronto Star: “You can’t arrest your way out of some of these challenges.” Ford, however, has said that social programs are not doing anything more than handing out ‘free money’ and that he hasn’t seen them do any good.
It will be interesting to see how the Prime Minister’s Office reacts to Ford’s issues. Given that this government declared itself regularly to be ‘Tough on Crime,” it will be difficult for them to give Ford nothing, but what he’s asking is also not something they can legally do Ė and it would certainly be politically difficult to give Toronto special consideration.
Photo Credit: West Annex News