Skip to comments.PM commits to gun-violence summit (Bed-wetting, Anti-gun BARF alert)
Posted on 11/22/2005 7:27:57 PM PST by proud_yank
By SCOTT DEVEAU
Tuesday, November 22, 2005 Posted at 8:54 PM EST
The federal government has committed to holding a high-level summit over Toronto's gun violence, according to a coalition of Toronto's black leaders.
The Coalition of African-Canadian Organizations met with Prime Minister Paul Martin in Ottawa Tuesday to urge him to recognize the issue as a national crisis.
The group said Mr. Martin committed to the summit, which aims to bring together the federal, provincial, and municipal governments with community leaders in the new year to tackle the issue of gun violence head on.
"This is a crisis," said Margaret Parsons, director of the African Canadian Legal Clinic. "It is a national crisis, it's a state of emergency. I don't think we want to wait for any more lives to be lost."
Last Friday, an 18-year old was gunned down amongst 300 mourners at a funeral for another teenager, who had also fallen victim to gun violence. Both were young black men and the 18-year old's death marked the city's 69th homicide this year, 48 of which have come by way of the gun.
The murder also prompted the church's pastor to call on Mr. Martin in vain to evoke the War Measures Act to stop the violence. The shooting did, however, elicit a promise for police presence at any gang-related funeral in the city.
In addition to the summit, the group also called on the federal government for more money to build critical social and economic programs for young people in troubled neighbourhoods.
All three levels of government have come under fire over the issue in recent months and with a federal election pending, the issue is quickly headed to the forefront of the federal agenda.
The Ontario provincial government has allocated additional funds for Toronto's guns-and-gangs task force and earlier this month the federal government said it intends to introduce legislation that would enforce mandatory sentencing for gun crimes.
The feds also committed to a $50-million, five-year plan to expand its crime prevention strategy to include a gun violence and gangs-prevention fund.
On Monday, Toronto Mayor David Miller and Human Resources Minister Belinda Stronach announced $1-million in funding for a new youth job counselling centre in the city.
After the announcement, Mr. Miller told reporters the problem was not just for politicians to deal with, and he urged witnesses to gun-crimes to provide information to the police, as well as urging others in the community to hire young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
In perhaps somewhat more misguided strategy, Immigration Minister Joe Volpe was asked Tuesday by one of his Liberal colleagues to prevent rap artist 50 Cent from coming to Canada.
Born Curtis Jackson in Queen's, N.Y., 50 Cent is scheduled to launch a Canadian tour Dec. 3 in Vancouver, with stops in Halifax, Saint John, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, and Ottawa.
But the rapper promotes gun violence, says Toronto MP Dan McTeague, who wants Mr. Volpe to turn back 50 Cent at the border.
"I don't think people in Toronto or any urban centre need or want to hear Mr. Jackson's message right now," Mr. McTeague said.
The musician performed in Toronto in 2003, where Mr. McTeague points out there was a shooting.
"I think it's time we send a message of our own to those who glorify violence that their gratuitous violence and movies are not welcome in our country," Mr. McTeague said. "We need to do a better job at protecting Canadians from people who's message runs counter to all of our efforts of trying to curb gun violence."
The rapper has a criminal record, and would be required to obtain a ministerial permit to enter Canada, although such permits are issued regularly, he added.
A spokesman for Mr. Volpe said he was unaware Mr. McTeague's letter and was unable to comment on whether the government would consider such actions.
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Jack Pennings from Toronto, Canada writes: Almost no-one is linking the gun violence to the drug trade - however it is most certainly a large part of the problem. What motivates these young men to start shooting at one another?Certainly not stolen bicycles. Sadly, our "leaders" are light-years away from introducing measures that will take the drug trade away from the criminals (i.e. legalized means of distribution), as not-so-recent dithering on marijuana law reform illustrates.
Posted Nov. 22, 2005 at 9:24 PM EST Link to Comment Jack Robertson from Toronto, Canada writes:
Why would the federal government grant a ministerial permit of entry into Canada for a man like 50 Cent who not only has a criminal record but who also promotes gun violence? If the Martin government allows 50 Cent into Canada, it will be just one more example of Liberal hypocrisy. Martin cannot allow an advocate of violence into the country and even pretend to be concerned about the gun crimes that have become epidemic in Toronto.
Paul Martin, spare us your cynical, vote-scrounging photo-ops with Black Canadians and do something real about violent crime. Dan McTeague's suggestion that Canada bar entry to 50 Cent may not address all the root causes of violence, but it is an important first step. We must send a clear message that the glorification of violence under the guise of entertainment will no longer be tolerated in this country.
Posted Nov. 22, 2005 at 9:44 PM EST Link to Comment Lance Meredith from Chatham, Canada writes: Bil, you raise some valid points.
Posted Nov. 22, 2005 at 9:58 PM EST Link to Comment graham holbrook from Cobble Hill, Canada writes: Why is a crisis in Toronto, a national crisis?
Posted Nov. 22, 2005 at 10:04 PM EST Link to Comment Darius White from Kelowna, Canada writes: Toronto is going down the toilet. It won't be long before it is no different than any one of a large number of American cities that Canadians love to smugly point fingers at. The model will be the same for Toronto: one portion will be crime ridden, run down, and ugly, and the other portion will be expensive and relatively crime free. And the decent middle-class families with kids will run away as fast as they can (if they have the means). C'est la vie. That's what politically correct policies get you. And all the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't put Toronto together again.
Surprising that they didn't blame this problem solely on the US, though they did indirectly and 'racistly' by blaming an American Rapper.
No mention of drugs either. Also, Clinton is a well known criminal and he is more than welcome in Toronto. Michael Moore's body guard was arrested at an airport in New York (JFK I believe), and he is welcome in Toronto. What gives???
Wow. That hyphenated dual-citizenship disease has migrated north?
for your ping
I don't find much wrong with this article. They aren't blaming guns for violence, they're blaming young black youths who, lacking patriarchal influences, are drawn to the glamorized and deadly gangsta rap culture.
Next thing you know, the stupid bastards will wonder why the welfare state isn't really workable without positive population growth.
Next thing you know, the stupid bastards will wonder why the welfare state isn't really workable...
The top libs know it does not work -- but their patch solution to socialism is to just keep taking more taxes from the public.
Wonder how much of the "gun-crime" is perpetrated by black Canadians against other black Canadians?
Wonder how often a black witness to this type crime steps forward to identify those responsible?
Almost every time, and promply, right?
Or is it just easier to blame the gun rather than to look in the mirror?
Banning 50 Cent is a good idea, but also they should scrap the gun registry, introduce extremely tough laws for criminals and fewer regulations for law-abiding gun owners
Yeah, can you imagine what a pain it would be to fill out those govt forms if you were Black, from the US and living in Canada?
Well Paul "Mr. Dithers" Martin will hopfully not be the Queen's First Minister for much longer. He does not have the confidence of Parliament and may face an election call next week.
Time is running out Paul...