Many Torontonians must’ve been surprised to read the news report stating that Toronto Mayor John Tory urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to revoke bail opportunities for repeat gun offenders. Why would a repeat offender get bail anyway?
The request is one of several made by Tory in an August 3 letter to the prime minister that outlines the mayor’s vision for gun violence prevention.
Tory is also calling on Trudeau to enact a handgun ban in Toronto, crack down on cross-border gun trafficking and introduce tougher sentences for gun traffickers.
So far this year, 30 people have been killed in shootings in Toronto. There has been a total of 233 shootings, according to Toronto police statistics.
Tory’s request would see repeat gun offenders held in custody until the charges are “disposed of by the judicial system.”
“I have heard from frontline constables and our police chief how frustrated they are by the fact someone they arrest for a gun crime who already had a criminal record or similar offences, or who was already out on bail on a similar charge, can almost immediately be back out on the street on bail,” Tory wrote.
Tory said that granting bail may still be appropriate for some first-time offenders who have a better chance at diversion and rehabilitation.
However, some community members say Tory’s proposal is misguided and potentially damaging.
Ending gun violence, she added, requires long term commitments to address unemployment and poverty in marginalized communities.
There are programs out there already for disadvantaged youth but steering such youth into these programs and encouraging them not to dropout of school should be the job of parents and guardians. If young people regardless of their economic background fail to equip themselves with skills currently in demand in the workplace, unemployment could be their fate.
Keeping kids motivated and out of trouble should be the primary responsibility of parents not the state. -CINEWS