Long associated with low homicide rates and safe streets, "Toronto the Good," as this city has long been known, has experienced a sharp increase in handgun shootings over the past year, largely among young black men who belong to gangs.
But not to worry - the Canadians have it all figured out. First, you have to identify the source of the problem:
Stressed families, poverty, and poor police rapport have all contributed to the growth of ghettos where, critics say, youth glamorize the "gangsta" culture and drop out of school early to join gangs to make quick money through drugs or prostitution.
Well, they sure zeroed right in on the fundamentals, didn't they? So what to do? Here's some great
ideas they've already come up with:
Government officials have boosted funding for skills training for disadvantaged youth, while a handful of private companies have hired young interns from violent neighborhoods. Several churches in the most dangerous areas have introduced after-school sports programs, chaperoned by police and pastors, as well as counseling and the teaching of proper social skills to obtain employment.
Boy they are quick studies up there (they'll come up with "midnight basketball" eventually) - of course they're able to steal all our best ideas, including the magical effect of spreading around millions of federal dollars:
A coalition of 27 African-Canadian organizations...met with Prime Minister Paul Martin days after the funeral shooting and emerged with a promise for $50 million Canadian [US$42.9 million] over five years to develop programs for troubled youth and to craft a crime prevention strategy.
The linchpin for controlling crime, some say, begins at the border:
"We need stricter border controls - only 3 percent of cars crossing the border are even checked. We need support for our law enforcement to do undercover work to catch gun thieves and smugglers, and we need to pressure the US to take responsibility for its guns," says Wendy Cukier, president of the Toronto-based Coalition for Gun Control.
Oh, you thought when I mentioned border control you thought I meant that Canadians want to crack down on the number of minorities entering the country.
No - why would you want to do that? The Canadians obviously have this down pat, and they know that no immigrant group could possibly be any more of a crime risk than native Canadians - it just looks that way to your lying eyes.