By: Christina Blizzard
One thing you can always count on in times of crisis is your fearless politicians’ inability to do anything meaningful about it.
A posse of solemn-faced leaders will arrive en masse, their voices grave, their knees a-jerk with whatever reaction they think is going to make you believe they’re doing something.
Trust me, they haven’t got a clue. They just want to get through this patch – and hope you’ll forget it until the next incident.
So it was Monday at Queen’s Park, when Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Police Chief Bill Blair and Premier Dalton McGuinty emerged from their hour-long gum-flap to tell us just what they’re going to do about the gun violence that gripped this city last week.
McGuinty pledged permanent funding for the Provincial and Toronto Anti Violence Intervention Strategies (PAVIS and TAVIS). They’ll also toss in another $1 million – from existing funding – for community policing programs and for more co-ordination between Toronto, Ontario Provincial Police and Greater Toronto Area police.
What’ll come next? I’m betting on a useless report – such as the one by Judge Roy McMurtry and former Liberal cabinet minister Alvin Curling in 2007/2008.
That was their rsponse to that Summer of the Gun.
This is the sequel: Summer of the Gun, Part II.
Nothing’s improved and nothing will be done because no one wants to address the root causes of the violence.
McMurtry’s and Curling’s report had chapter headings such as “Poverty” and “Racism.”
Blame everyone – except the people pulling the trigger.
McGuinty was asked why his government hadn’t followed up. He had the nerve to say they had, with things such as the Ontario Child Benefit.
Oh, please. He suggested the full-day kindergarten program was all part of his strategy.
He clucked like a parsimonious accountant as he wondered where he’d find the paltry $12.5 million his government is throwing at these initiatives, and said he’s hoping the mayor and the feds pony up more cash.
“We’ve come to the table. We’re running a deficit. I don’t know exactly how I’m going to get it, but we’re going to have to find it from within.”
Hello? This is the government that threw away $190 million to move a power plant to save its own political skin during the last election.
He can piddle that kind of cash right down the drain, but he doesn’t know where he’s going to get $12.5 million? How about in the eHealth budget? That’s another $1 billion boondoggle. And Ornge. Heck, the air ambulance board gave $450,000 – almost the amount the government’s paying for community programs – to disgraced former CEO Chris Mazza for a “housing allowance.”
No wonder they don’t have any money.
We don’t need expensive programs. What we really need is a government with the courage to crack down on lawlessness. You don’t need a handgun ban – legal guns are already pretty well banned. What you need is a government that stops the illegal import of guns.
We need politicians who have the courage to tell single women that the government will no longer pay welfare for them to have 10 babies by three fathers.
Of course, some children are raised by single parents because of death or abandonment – and we should support them.
But it shouldn’t be a lifestyle choice. Children aren’t fashion accessories.
When boys reach their teens, the young mom trying to raise them alone suddenly finds she can’t cope. So we end up with out-of-control young men with no fathers to tell them it isn’t OK to terrorize the neighbourhood with drunken parties.
I heard a community leader last week saying society has “failed” them.
No, no. It’s the other way around. When young people shoot up neighbourhoods, kill senselessly and in cold blood, then they have failed us.