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In Responding To Shootings: Racism, Hatred And Blame

In Responding To Shootings: Racism, Hatred And Blame

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.

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Photo Credit: West Annex News

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8:09PM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

I am ever glad that I don't live in Toronto - not because of the gun violence, mind you. I'm more concerned I'd have a heart attack or stroke due to high blood pressure from having to listen to Rob Ford on the news every night.

It's bad enough having to hear about what Harper's doing...

Is it time for an election yet?

1:53PM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

It seems to me that this situation highlights the problems of dealing with modern social ills. On the one hand, there are social programs that deal with the underlying issues, but these programs do not necessarily work. They can indeed suck up the money without presenting any good result. On the other hand, there is the natural human desire to eliminate the problem by getting rid of those involved or passing and enforcing stronger laws. Certainly this can help, but the problem rarely goes away unless the roots are also addressed. So, yes we can learn from this in our own country. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have the answer. It is-- and always has been-- a bit of both sides. A unilateral approach just won't work. We need compromise for real fixes to our system.

4:33AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

thanks for sharing

1:54AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

Dorothy N, very well said and I couldn't have said it better.

Rob Ford is an idiot, and a mouthy one to boot! Like Harper, he has adopted much of the Republican/Teabagger stance on some issues. There have to be social programmes to intervene before the guns come out so that gun play is not the automatic answer to problems.

1:24AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

This is stupid........

12:13AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

Thank you for sharing it!

9:10PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

kaler kontho........

8:40PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

I'd like criminals to be banned everywhere!

7:38PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Sounds like Canada has some of the same Republican problems that America has.

A few years ago there was a problem in Atlanta where the suburban police departments would catch a homeless person, sometimes on the street and sometimes just getting out of jail and "deport" them to downtown Atlanta, either dropping them at a homeless shelter or the public hospital. This was sometimes a problem if the person was not from Atlanta but had relatives in the suburbs or was just more familiar with them. The homeless advocates pitched a fit about "homeless dropping", trying to get the suburbanites to take care of their own because the urban shelters were full.

7:28PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

What a twit. "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."

Sounds like the plan that LA used in the past to "deport" the homeless to the outskirts of town.

Its called dumping. What a twit.

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