Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor

Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor

October 06, 2010 18:33 ET

Tough On Crime, Tough On The Causes Of Crime

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 6, 2010) - I want to recognize the important work of UMOVE and thank Marilyn Ortega for inviting us into her home today to share her tragic story.

Near the end of the CITY TV debate on Sunday evening, we heard from two mothers, both members of UMOVE, who had lost children to gun violence. 

And either for reasons of time or scheduling, the four candidates did not get a chance to speak to the issue of crime after their presentation.

Those mothers, and all mothers who have lost children to violence, deserve an apology for that oversight, and our gathering here today is an effort to set that straight.

Marilyn, we marvel at your strength, even after all these years.

I sometimes think that the world is separated into those of us who have lost a child to violence and those of us who haven't.

I do not have the same understanding as Marilyn and the mothers of UMOVE, I have not felt the grief and sorrow that must still come and go even with the passing of years, but I am a father of a child, as your mayor I will stand up for our children and stand up to crime and violence.

Silence is never an option when our kids are being taken from us.

We must speak up and speak out against those who want to control our streets with guns and gangs.

Last week the worst nightmare of every parent unfolded at Central Tech High School.

The same week, two young people were shot and killed in Weston.

And not long before that, a young man was gunned down in Chinatown while sitting in a crowded restaurant.

At the end of August people began to see that unless we started getting tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime we were headed for trouble.

That's exactly where we have ended up... because we haven't done enough to stop our young people being killed.

In this election I've been honest about taxes, and transit and jobs, so I'm not going to lie to you about crime.

There are no easy answers.

But none of the issues in this election... better transit, cutting waste... none of it matters if we don't feel safe in our streets and neighbourhoods. 

Bobby Kennedy said that every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves and that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.

It's time to insist on better.

There are too many guns on our streets and in our neighbourhoods.

There's not enough opportunity... not enough hope... for too many kids in our city.

And there's not nearly enough... not nearly enough... police in our communities.

We must insist on better and we will insist on better and together we can make our communities safe again.

As your mayor, I will get tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.

That means taking cops off of parking enforcement and out of traffic court so that we can put them where they're needed... on streets like Invergordon and in our neighbourhoods, keeping us safe.

It means a tougher stance on panhandling and graffiti... because evidence from around the world tells us that minor law-breaking begets more serious crimes.

And it means police cameras in problem areas... so that our police have the tools they need to track criminals, find criminals, and bring them to justice.

But it also means giving at-risk youth hope for a better future by transforming under-utilized schools into full service community centres.

It means leading the fight for a federal ban on handguns.

And it means backing Chief Blair in his fight to keep the gun registry and calling out Rob Ford for his opposition.

Councillor Ford opposed the Chief and opposed the gun registry. We need a mayor who knows what a gun in the wrong hands can do.

Tough on crime... tough on the causes of crime.

That's how we're going to keep our kids away from guns and gangs and in schools and community centres.

The first responsibility of City Hall... of any government... is to keep us safe and secure.

City Hall has been entrusted with that duty.

And for too long, people have not felt safe...

They have not trusted City Hall to keep crime off their streets and out of their neighbourhoods.

It's time to restore trust between Torontonians and City Hall.

It's time to come together.

Together we can get guns off our streets.

Together we can keep our kids away from guns and gangs...

And keep guns and gangs away from our kids.

Together we can restore the broken trust between a City Hall which insists we're safe and residents who know the reality of the streets today.

Nothing we do in this election can ease the pain of the mothers who have come together to fight violence. 

Nothing can change what has happened...

But together, we can bring real change to our streets by bringing real change to City Hall on October 25. 

Contact Information