The silence of the politicians.

In the heat of the summer, politicians head for the barbeques. They leave the cupboard bare for the pundits and commentators. It is a time of renewal and of contemplation. There is little to stimulate the writer.

Yet in Toronto, the guns of the summer are in play. Politicians posture. Police pressure. And people die.

The chair of the police services board in Toronto reads a written apology for the board not protecting the citizens during Toronto’s shame of the G20 two years ago. He apologized because of the report that was released that said the board did not do its job. He apologized and then walked back and sat down in the seat of the chair. He did not have the grace to resign. He did not do the necessary: call for Chief Bill Blair’s resignation.

But Ontario’s Whig Premier McGuinty has offered to solve the gun problem. It must be a measure of his desperation. He has offered to meet with the lame duck mayor who has absolutely no idea what to do to ask him what he wants to do. The premier is ready to throw our tax money at the problem. The mayor has already turned down that type of help from the federal government.

The mayor does not believe in community outreach programs for youth in disadvantaged areas of the city. He does not understand the need for role models to compete with the gangs in the hood. He does not understand the need for programs to compete with graffiti and vandalism. He does not understand the need for community programming that includes crafts, home making, sports, life skills and opportunity for positive social interaction for everyone. He cannot comprehend that it costs a few dollars to do it; it costs far, far more to not do it.

Canadians are, in the main, law-abiding and kind people. Newcomers to our country are eager to share those traits. That is one of the reasons they chose Canada. They did not escape hooliganism in other countries to see their children fall in with hooligan gangs here. There are more important opportunities and we have to make sure the opportunities are available to all.

Our youth are not lambs for the slaughter. The politicians have to speak out in the silence.


Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

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