Gun violence top concern as politicians meet in Toronto following Danforth shooting
Katherine DeClerq, CP24.com
Published Monday, July 23, 2018 8:45AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 23, 2018 11:24PM EDT
Political leaders met in Toronto Monday afternoon to discuss ways in which each level of government could support the city’s efforts in “cracking down on gun violence” after a mass shooting in Toronto’s Greektown left two dead and 13 injured.
Toronto Mayor John Tory addressed city council Monday morning after stopping at the scene of the shooting, calling the incident a “tragedy”.
“Our entire city has been shocked by this cowardly act of violence. As I said earlier this morning at the scene, I’m of course angry that someone would carry out such an attack, which really amounts to an attack on our city itself,” he said. “This is an attack on innocent families and against our entire city.”
Tory met with Premier Doug Ford, federal Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair, and Police Chief Mark Saunders Monday afternoon to discuss ways in which each level of government can support the city’s efforts to end the wave of gun violence plaguing Toronto.
In an interview with CP24, Ford said there was a lot of consensus between the three levels of government.
“We’re standing shoulder to shoulder. We’re working together – all three levels of government,” Ford said.
Ford also said the leaders spoke about a wide range of issues, including illegal guns and mental health.
“We all agreed we support our Toronto police one thousand per cent. We have all the confidence in the world in Chief Saunders getting down to the bottom of it.”
Ford also said he still believes Toronto is one of the safest cities in the world.
“It’s an absolute tragedy. As I always claim everywhere I go in the world, we live in one of the safest large cities in the world.”
While speaking with CTV News Toronto afterward, Ford also indicated that he would support harsher sentencing for people who commit violent gun acts.
“I think we need to toughen up the sentences and we can’t let these people out in a few years on parole and let it happen again, or if someone gets arrested on a Friday night and they get bail and they are back out on Wednesday for retribution, that is unacceptable,” he said. “The laws need to be changed.”
Speaking at Queen’s Park prior to the joint meeting, Ford said the “entire province” is behind the city.
“I want the people of Toronto to know that our entire province is behind you. What happened last night is tragic and it should be a cause for anger. It reminds us that the status quo is not good enough. We must do everything we can to bring criminals to justice while preventing other potential shootings,” Ford said.
“We will make sure that police have the tools and resources to do their jobs and we will work with our municipal and federal counterparts to identify, apprehend, and convict those who commit or plan to commit violence.”
Peter Tabuns, the NDP MPP for Toronto-Danforth, said the community is resilient and will recover together.
“We are a unified, loving community and we will find answers together,” he said. “We will offer each other strength and understanding together and we will heal together.”
In a written statement, Blair called the shooting was a “tragic reminder that this city is experiencing the devastating effects of gun violence far too frequently.”
“That is why this meeting today was so critical. The federal government is here at the table, with our municipal and provincial partners, to discuss how we can all support efforts to end the violence. We stand united in our resolve to keep our streets safe.”
Tory thanked the political leaders for meeting at city hall to discuss public safety and offer their support to the residents of Toronto.
“In times of such horror, it is good to know that Toronto is not alone and Toronto will never be alone and most important of all, that the people of Toronto will never be alone. This city will always be resilient in the face of such attacks. It does not mean such a terrible act committed against our residents is any less painful,” Tory said.
Many other politicians and leaders turned to social media to express their condolences and support for the people impacted by the shooting.
My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible tragedy on the Danforth last night in Toronto, and may the injured make a full recovery. The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave - and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 23, 2018
Tonight, a despicable act has been perpetrated on the Danforth in our city. On behalf of all Toronto residents, I am outraged that someone has unleashed such a terrible attack on our city and people innocently enjoying a Sunday evening.— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) July 23, 2018
My heart goes out to the victims and loved ones of the horrific act of gun violence in Toronto. Thank you to all the first responders for acting quickly to help everyone affected.— Doug Ford (@fordnation) July 23, 2018
My heart is with the victims, their loved ones, and all those near the #Danforth tonight impacted by this horrific violence.— Andrea Horwath (@AndreaHorwath) July 23, 2018
Thank you to life-saving police and paramedics.
If you are a potential witness, please contact @TorontoPolice. #Danforthshooting
I just spoke to Chief Saunders and @TorontosMayor about the tragic events on the Toronto Danforth last night to discuss how we can support their efforts to end the violence. We stand united in our resolve to keep our streets safe.— Bill Blair (@BillBlair) July 23, 2018
Our thoughts are with the victims & families of last night’s tragic shooting. Grateful for our officers who engaged with the suspect, whose actions, no doubt prevented further shootings & all first responders & emergency personnel who treated and transported the victims.
Our thoughts are with the victims & families of last night’s tragic shooting. Grateful for our officers who engaged with the suspect, whose actions, no doubt prevented further shootings & all first responders & emergency personnel who treated and transported the victims.— Mike McCormack (@TPAca) July 23, 2018
Our condolences are with the victims and families of the tragic shooting on the Danforth in Toronto. Sending our thoughts to the brave first responders for their dedication during this extremely difficult incident. #TorontoStrong pic.twitter.com/52FF0xZotg— DurhamRegionalPolice (@DRPS) July 23, 2018
We are deeply saddened by the senseless tragedy in Toronto’s Danforth community last night. Read statement, including resources for parents, from Chair Robin Pilkey and Director John Malloy. https://t.co/m4favGUsVe— Toronto DSB (@tdsb) July 23, 2018We stand with you Toronto. https://t.co/MV6KosDjsN
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and everyone affected by yesterday’s tragic incident. Thank you to our city’s first responders. #TorontoStrong pic.twitter.com/IhFLAOWPAa— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 23, 2018
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) July 23, 2018