Time to really be tough on crime, not just talk about it.
On Saturday night Vancouver’s Oak Street became the scene of what appeared to be another gang-related settling of accounts. Reports say that 10 people were hit by bullets, none of them bystanders. Some witnesses were quoted as saying that “It felt like a scene from an action movie.”
Only this was no movie. This is on our streets. In front of our homes. Where our kids were sleeping.
Mayor Gregor Robertson, whose home was mere steps away from the shooting incident, called the assault "despicable" and "scary." At a City Hall press conference this morning, he said that Vancouver Police Department was pulling out all the stops to deal with the brazen attack on Oak Street. I’m sure that is the case and I know the VPD is an excellent force with talented, committed and determined men and women.
But as far as I am concerned, that is not enough.
When the biker gangs were terrorizing people in the Montreal area a decade ago, the full weight and force of the provincial and federal government and their respective justice systems went into high gear. Their coordinated objective was the systematic eradication of these organized crime groups. The RCMP, the Quebec Provincial Police, and the Montreal Urban Community Police created a task force to seek out, disrupt, harass, arrest, and bring these people to trial. The leaders were targeted, incarcerated, tried and convicted. No expense was spared. Prosecution and investigative teams were beefed-up and full-time dedicated investigators were assigned. Overlapping jurisdictions worked together to bring the full force of the law and an outraged citizenry down on these punks and thugs.
Absolutely no less is needed in British Columbia today. We cannot and must not tolerate this as another “isolated incident” as the police chief and mayor said this morning. There have been too many for these to be “isolated.”
We’ve had enough of the “tough on crime” talk and public relations gimmicks from Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Canadians have had enough talk. We’ve heard it for the five years Harper has been in power. It is time for action.