In a long and thoughtful email, Alan Tonks has responded to the double murder last week in Weston.
I asked Mr Tonks three questions:
- What is the Liberal Party of Canada doing to address violent crime in Weston?
- What is the government of Canada doing?
- What are you in particular doing?
In his response, he speaks out against the “murderous victimization of the innocent in our community” and castigates the gangsters who have caused the “intimidation, street violence, and murderous drug wars”.
Tonks also explained the government’s response. With Liberal support, the Feds have increased mandatory sentences for violent crimes, built more jails, and increased the number of police across the country. His party, he says, has reservations about rehabilitation and dealing “with the disease of criminal activity and not just the symptoms”.
The full text of his email is below.
I am sorry that once again, with two more shootings, I find myself responding through your web-site on this issue of violence. Obviously, I would prefer to comment on the quality of life issues and actions businesses and residents are taking in Weston.
It is increasingly perplexing that the circumstances around these two murders, according to the news, involve a student at Weston Collegiate and a young person, gainfully employed and in-training as a chef. Perplexing, however, as part of our community-based strategy is to offer attention to vulnerable youth.
What then went wrong here? I suspect that, as police have suggested in other cases, gang and drug activity and its barbaric pull have resulted in intimidation, street violence and murderous turf wars.
To answer your questions on institutional and personal response; the government has increased mandatory sentencing for violent acts of crime, instituted stronger parole/court obligations, committed to building more jails and announced an increase in funding for 25,000 police officers across the country. The Liberal Party has supported all these intentions with the following caveats. The 25,000 police officers increase has not yet been delivered. Prisons on their own will incarcerate but not rehabilitate and more support must be given to community-based initiatives that deal with the disease of criminal activity and not just the symptoms. Here, in Toronto and York South-Weston, we have supported police officers working with young people in our schools and the special creation through 31 Division and 12 division of drug and gang squad officers working with intelligence to act before the public and innocent youth are victimized
For my part, personally, for over ten years, I have been supporting the mentoring program with our Trades Council on pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeship training. The most recent program is highlighted in my Fall 2010 Householder – The Hammerheads Program approved by the Central Ontario Building Trades. The important thing is to ensure that our local young people have jobs to go to when they graduate and this requires local job creation in projects like the Kodak redevelopment, GO Expansion and Eglinton Rapid Project.
Please be assured that over the next few weeks we will be meeting with 31/12 Divisions to pursue expansion and co-ordination of our private and public street camera system and any other initiatives that will deter this murderous victimization of the innocent in our community.