- United States
Canadian city of Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford has indicated his intentions to consider using country’s immigration laws to ‘exile’ and eliminate criminal gangs from the city. His statement came after the recent gun-crimes in the city.
The Mayor said that he would be taking this proposal to the country’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. He said that he was anxious to rid the city of these miscreants and criminals.
When asked about how he intends to fight these gun-crimes in the city in an interview to a local news channel, the Mayor said that he was not quite sure himself of the solution, but it was exactly why he was intending on discussing it with the Prime Minister. Ford said that he was planning on finding an answer to this situation in the country’s immigration laws. He said that he was well settled in his mind on getting rid of these criminals, and would do too, without regarding the fact that they might have families or friends. All the same, he said, he cannot tolerate such people walking the streets of Toronto.
Although the Mayor did clarify his intentions in the interview but he failed to put some light on the objectives he was pursuing. The clarification on the objectives of his statements was important because the Police had made no public statement regarding the gang that was responsible for the Monday shooting to be immigrants.
Ford’s comments have caused a lot of confusion in the community and people are trying to understand what exactly he meant.
Executive director of Tropicana Community Services, Sharon Shelton, said that before she can comment on the Mayor’s statements, it is important that she understands “What exactly is he looking for?”
She said that she has no idea what the Mayor was trying to imply by referring to immigration laws, as most of the Toronto gang crimes are committed by native-born individuals and not immigrants.
On another occasion, while he was visiting a flood victim’s house, Ford was asked by a reporter multiple times regarding the objectives of his statements, as whether he plans to deport the convicts or shift them to other Canadian municipalities. But he did not respond to these questions.
The fact that the law already states that non-citizen convicts are to be deported, renders Ford’s comments scope less. And the other possible meaning that could be derived from the statements, the one suggesting shifting the gangs to other municipalities, would also seem absurd. Because, apart from being constitutionally questionable, this would be exactly like brushing the dust under the carpet instead of getting rid of it.
Bruce Ryder, a constitutional law expert at the York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, said, “We don’t generally restrict people’s liberty once they have served their sentence. And restrictions on their freedom of movement have to be closely tailored to the objective of the law.”
Ryder found the Mayor’s comments to be humorous. He said that the objective of the statements is vague. While commenting on the possibility of shifting the criminals to other municipalities, Ryder said that it would be like shifting the risk to other places because it is irrational to assume that the gangs will decide not to engage in crimes once out of Toronto.
Ford has been also known to oppose community grants. He was the only one who had opposed the $16 million community grant last week. He claims that these grants are not solving the problem but grooming it.
“It’s a proven fact,” he said, “that when we had the most murders in the city, it was the same time that we had the most grants. I think we handed out over $50 million that year in grants. Throwing money at the problem, and having these, I call ‘hug-a-thug programs,’ they just do not work.”
But the facts stated by the Mayor are inaccurate as, from 2007 to 2011, according to records; the number of homicides had declined as the figure of grants increased.
Mayor Ford also intends on meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty to discuss more funding to increase the number of officers in his Toronto Anti-violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) police team.
Tags: Bruce Ryder, Canada, Canada immigration, Dalton McGuinty, Prime minister, Sharon Shelton, Stephen Harper, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Tropicana Community Services