Toronto "incredibly safe": Mayor
by Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor,
Wednesday, June 7, 2006
On the same day that Mayor David Miller met with the media to say how safe the city of Toronto is, shots rang out in a downtown residential neighbourhood. A 19-year-old man was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries while horrified residents looked on. Several schools in the area were locked down and train service on the nearby tracks was suspended while police looked for the shooters.
It was, as they say, just another day in the life of the city.
Meanwhile David Miller was talking to the media and telling them that in spite of the arrests of 17 people on terrorism related charges that include allegations of blowing up the Toronto Stock Exchange and shooting guns into a crowd of people, Toronto remains "incredibly safe". Miller urged the media to portray the city as being safe, lest tourism be harmed.
Shootings like the one that took place yesterday have become an all too common occurrence on the streets of Toronto and last year saw a record 52 gun related deaths. It is true that the vast majority of Torontonians walk the citys streets without being in fear of being gunned down. And no doubt that those Torontonians who accept the reality that this city is a potential target of Islamic extremists (or as we in this city now call them, young men who come from diverse backgrounds) are not living in constant fear of being blown to bits or mistaken for a Member of Parliament and beheaded. Yet the reality in Toronto has always been that this mayor and his left wing council are completely uninterested in violent crime, terrorist-inspired or otherwise. They bury their socialized collective heads in the sand, emerging only when it is absolutely necessary.
During 2005, now dubbed "The Year of the Gun", Miller remained totally uninterested in the violence except for those cases that were too high profile to politically ignore. He was completely nonchalant after 4-year-old Shaquan Cadougan was shot outside his North York home last summer, showing any interest only after then-Citytv reporter Adam Vaughan embarrassed him by asking him why he had not bothered to visit the injured child.
Then came last Decembers brutal murder of 15-year-old Jane Creba. The honour student and star athlete was gunned down on Yonge Street while shopping for Boxing Day bargains with her family and thousands of other people who had made their way to the prime shopping area. Miller made a few "law and order" pronouncements, and least feigned anger and then went right back to his preferred method of fighting violent crime advocating more basketball courts, more programs for "at risk youth" (i.e. gangbangers) and of course, more money from other levels of government to finance these programs.
Violent crime in the city of Toronto has a much lower priority than the welfare of the citys trees and grandiose visions of what the waterfront will someday look like. One of the socialist mayors greatest coups was to engineer the non-renewal of former Police Chief Julian Fantinos contract and the appointment of left-wing Police Chief Bill Blair, whose bragging about not using the word "Muslim" during a press conference about the recent terror arrests has travelled around the world. According to the Chief, the terrorist plots had nothing to do with religion; it was based on terrorism, hatred and political ideology. The guy who likes to portray himself as a cop is now portraying himself as an Islamic scholar.
The attitude of Toronto City Council towards potential terrorist attacks was shown after the bombings in London last July. Socialist councillor and chair of the TTC, Howard Moscoe thought it the attacks on Londons transit system were something to laugh about. Moscoe joked that the bombings of subways could never happen here because the terrorists wouldnt be able to find Toronto. The reality is that the only people who will be unable to find Toronto are potential tourists. And it aint hard to find Toronto when youre living in neighbouring Mississauga.
There is simply a vast unwillingness on the part of city mothers to deal with and confront both violent crime and terrorism. And as harmful as this might be to the financial well-being of the city, the media has a duty to keep pointing this out.
So how do people feel about the safety of Canadas largest city?
David Miller says, "Toronto is an incredibly safe city despite last weeks terror raids".
Unfortunately, Jane Creba was unavailable for comment.