Guns in our Community Addressed

By Sean Delaney Emery’s

31 Division host’s frequent meetings with the public through a committee called the CPLC (Community police liaison Committee). Inspector Colin Greenaway co-chairs the committee along with a civilian co-chair, Mark Tenaglia.

On September 10th at the Julius Banquet Centre, a special CLPC meeting was assembled to discuss the issue of community safety along with guns and violence. This summer has been the summer for increased shootings and deaths in Toronto. The Community Safety Town Hall was hosted by the Hon. Judy A. Sgro M.P.- Humber River-Black Creek and a special guest, the Hon. Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security & Organized Crime Reduction- M.P. Scarborough Southwest. Also on the panel, was Inspector Greenaway. Bill Blair acknowledged that the latest rash of shootings in Toronto has touched off a sense of urgency among the public for the government to do more to keep deadly firearms out of the wrong hands.

“The concern that currently exists in Toronto and other parts of Canada requires that we examine the issue and deal with it in a comprehensive way. Because I’ve got decades of experience, the Prime Minister has asked me to provide that focus for our government, to look at every aspect in every ministry so that we address all of the issues related to gun violence and that will enable us to take effective action in addressing it,” he said.

He said the government’s work will include looking at “any measure which will be effective.” He also cited measures already included in Bill C-71, which proposes to tighten certain regulations on gun ownership laws, including expanded background checks on potential gun owners, stronger record-keeping by retailers and requiring buyers to first present a firearms license.

Inspector Colin Greenaway was pleased to announce that gun violence was down considerably year after year in his division. He thanked the public for their help and assistance with being vigilant reporting crime when they see it. Crime Stoppers is a great program and is truly anonymous. The public is urged to call when they see a crime happening in their neighbourhoods. The police can’t do it all on their own, and any assistance can go along way to keeping us all safe, he said.

Shooting victim, Louise Russo also addressed the gathering. It’s been nearly 14 years since Louise, an innocent bystander, was shot and paralyzed in a botched underworld hit. Russo continues to lead “Working Against Violence Everyday” (W.A.V.E.), a non-profit she founded that gives bursaries to young people who exemplify respect, responsibility, and leadership.

There were many questions to the panel from concerned community members and a lively Q-and-A took place.

Keep an eye out in the Emery Village Voice for listings of future dates for the next CPLC meetings. Come out and get involved, you won’t be disappointed.