Time to Get Tough on CriminalsPublished on October 07, 2020
October 7, 2020 (TORONTO) – Yesterday, Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Christine Hogarth rose in Ontario’s Parliament to introduce a Private Member’s Motion (PMM) designed to help reduce guns and gang violence by focusing on gun trafficking and bail reform.
The motion was passed unanimously and it calls upon Canada’s federal government to strengthen bail provisions for all charges related to trafficking of firearms and violent firearm offences, and impose mandatory minimum sentences for individuals who are caught trafficking guns.
“On September 8, our community was shaken by a heinous act of gang-related violence. 80 gunshots were fired, and one man was hospitalized with serious injuries in a shooting that left so many gun casings that the police ran out of evidence tags,” Hogarth said. “When I visited the site of the shootings to speak with business owners, I was shocked to see a childcare centre right across the street from the site of the shootings.”
The motion is intended to address the rise of gun violence in Ontario’s cities, especially in Toronto where the number of shootings has skyrocketed.
In 2019, Toronto saw 494 shootings/firearm discharges, the highest number on record. 284 people were injured and 44 of these people died. Already, in 2020 there have been 382 shootings/firearms discharges with 185 injuries including 32 deaths.
“This motion does NOT seek to criminalize legal gun owners who have committed no crime,” notes Hogarth, who serves as Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Solicitor General. “We are focused on combatting crime committed with guns bought on the black market: illegally imported, illegally purchased and illegally used.”
“Unacceptably, communities across Ontario continue to be exposed to significant risk by those who traffic guns and possess illegal firearms. Such callous practices pose serious concerns for public safety and for the safety of our police members who are dedicated to serving their communities. Given that, the Police Association of Ontario, which represents over 18,000 sworn and civilian municipal police personnel across the province, supports this motion.” Bruce Chapman, President, Police Association of Ontario.
“Our community has suffered far too long at the hands of criminals who have no respect for the law. Its time for our Federal government to target criminals and not law-abiding citizens. The current Federal government’s safety mandate on firearms and crime is misguided and has failed our communities, allowing crime to flourish. This is why I support this motion for tighter bail restrictions for all charges related to firearm offences and mandatory minimum sentences for people who traffic guns.” Mark Tenaglia, Civilian Co-Chair, Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC).
“Bear in mind, the flood of illegal guns into Ontario will only increase when our borders are opened again after COVID-19,” Hogarth points out. “Without action by Canada’s federal government, we will see more shootings and more deaths. We cannot wait. The time to act is now.”
“Our communities are continuing to suffer the consequences of violent crime committed with illegal firearms. It is the outcome of an equation which includes the interim release of dangerous offenders with a demonstrated history of violence combined with illegal firearms possession/use. This is a dangerous trend which inhibits our (police) ability to mitigate community risk and prevent the tragic results we are seeing far too often.” Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah.
EA to Christine Hogarth