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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rob Ford's fictional rhetoric vs. facts

In the wake of the recent shootings in Toronto, there is no shortage of right wing rhetoric being spewed. In an effort to provide balance with some actual facts, consider the following:

Rob Ford’s rhetoric on the relationship between crime and community grants:
It’s a proven fact that when we had the most murders in the city, it was the same time that we had the most grants. I think we handed out over $50 million that year in grants. Throwing money at the problem, and having these, I call ‘hug-a-thug programs,’ they just do not work,” he said. [citation below].

"Ford’s stated “fact” is incorrect. Homicides peaked in 2007, with 86. The Community Partnership and Investment Program, which handles grants, had a budget of about $42 million that year. CPIP’s budget rose in future years as homicides dropped steadily; it gave out a high of $47 million in grants in 2011, when the city recorded 48 homicides, the fewest since amalgamation."
[from Daniel Dale’s Toronto Star article Mayor Rob Ford wants Ottawa to use immigration laws against convicted gang members http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/cityhallpolitics/article/1228864--mayor-ford-wants-ottawa-s-help-to-deport-convicted-gang-members]
Rob Ford’s rhetoric on neighbourhood funding:
"Asked about priority neighbourhood funding, [Rob Ford] said: 'I think they should start investing in jobs. The bottom line is you or anyone else can come out there and invest and open up a business that creates jobs. That’s the best social program around, is a job.' " [citation below].
Corrigan, Toronto Star

"Last week the small-government advocate was the lone vote against all city community development grants. In June, he alone voted against accepting federal funds for a gang-prevention program that will cost the city nothing."
[from David Rider’s Toronto Star article Rob Ford says best remedy for shootings is jobs http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/cityhallpolitics/article/1227858--rob-ford-says-best-remedy-for-shootings-is-jobs]

Let's be reminded that Toronto had 25 homicides by the end of June 2012, putting the city on pace for 50 homicides this year - which is lower than the pace it has maintained for the last 30 years. Toronto's homicide rate of 1.8 per 100,000 citizens is far and away among the lowest for any big city in the world, and no amount of rhetoric and misinformation can change this reality - pound for pound, Toronto is a safe big city.

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