Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday August 7, 2019
Toronto’s weekend of gun violence ‘frustrating, angering and sad,’ says Tory
The gun violence in Toronto during the Civic Holiday long weekend that saw 17 people shot during 14 separate incidents is “heartbreaking,” Mayor John Tory said Tuesday.
“It’s frustrating because we are doing a lot to try and get at it,” Tory told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.
He said police resources have been beefed up in response to the violence, echoing remarks by police Chief Mark Saunders on Monday, but didn’t give specifics. Tory also called for stricter gun control and tougher sentences for gun-related crime.
“I’ve come to realize that there is no magic answer to this,” he said.
“So when this kind of thing happens in a concentrated way, it’s very frustrating, angering and sad. And bottom line, unacceptable.”
The most significant shootings were at the District 45 nightclub in suburban North York, where at least five people were injured, and at an Airbnb in the swanky Bridle Path neighbourhood where a man was left with life-threatening injuries.
Tory has pushed for a handgun ban, saying it would help address some of the city’s gun violence. City council debated a handgun ban in June, but it would require action by both the federal and provincial governments.
“If we have a choice of doing absolutely everything we can to stem this type of violence, then I do believe a handgun ban would make some difference, if it would stop a handful of the shootings and certainly any of the deaths that we see,” the mayor said.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told CBC News that Canadians will soon see a “strong and effective” package of proposals from Ottawa, but wouldn’t say whether a proposed ban would be included.
Stronger background checks, licence verification, better record-keeping, and a significant investment in a strategy to fight guns and gangs are some of the measures the federal government has already taken to curb gun violence, he said at a news conference Tuesday in Ottawa. (CBC)