Friday, December 21, 2007

Mayor Miller's Mythical Toronto

Regarding the Nov. 2003 Toronto Life article by John Lorinc: “Urban myth: the mayoral candidates warn that we’re living in a nasty and brutish city state on the edge of the abyss. But who are they kidding?”

While re-reading this article, one wonders who Lorinc thought he was kidding when he wrote that “Toronto’s fortunes have already turned a corner” in regard to crime, and how police chief Julian Fantino was “fear-mongering about sexual offenders in the west-end, and gun-play in Rexdale”. He wrote that “for all the tough-on-crime rhetoric from John Tory and John Nunziata, Toronto remains the safest city in North America”, that the 2003 murder rate was “hardly evidence of wanton civic mayhem” and that “conservative politicians have always pandered to middle-class fears by promising more cops, as if more cops alone could solve problems that are much more complicated”. Of course hiring more cops would have helped! The protest by Toronto’s cops in October 2005 exemplifies the fallacy of Lorinc’s own 2003 rhetoric.

In hindsight, it’s sad how out of touch writer Lorinc and posturing politicians like David Miller, were. Miller’s campaign priorities consisted of posing with a broom as a prop, vacuous talk about “clean streets” and of burning the island bridge. During the mayoral campaign, unlike Miller, Tory and Nunziata both tackled the violent crime issue and supported hiring 400 more police officers while increasing community initiatives. To his eternal shame, Miller was not interested in hiring more police officers, claiming it would be “incredibly expensive”. What is incredibly offensive is that valid warnings of - and proposed solutions to - the violent bloodshed which has since spilled onto Miller’s supposed “clean” streets, were downplayed and prematurely dismissed as a fear-mongering myth by Lorinc.

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