John StallSee more blogs
The education of Rob Ford
It is not my intent to criticize Mayor Rob Ford for the sake of criticism — his heart in the right place in response to gang violence in Toronto. I question weather his mind and mouth are though.
In order for his meeting on Monday with Premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto police Chief Bill Blair to have a chance of being useful, it seems to me that they first have to be on the same page. But, based on what we’ve heard from all three so far, it doesn’t appear as if they are.
The mayor told Gord Martineau during this week’s Citytv/680News special that he will be asking the premier to direct money toward TAVIS (Toronto’s Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy). He said the “TAVIS police work magic — they know the gangs, they know where the guns are, they need the resources to stake them and to arrest these people.”
Not long after the mayor’s rant, Chief Blair made the point that TAVIS is “not an anti-gang strategy,” but rather an intervention strategy where police go into neighbourhoods in an attempt to build relationships among those who might be tempted to engage in violence.
The mayor has also said he will be asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to review immigration laws (that he acknowledged he didn’t fully understand), in order to make sure those charged with gun possession in Toronto are not allowed back in after they do time in jail.
Again, his heart is in the right place, but I sense that senior political leaders like McGuinty, Harper and Blair will have to spend a lot of precious time educating Ford before considering what he has already said he will ask them for.