Tories tar­get gangs

Tougher bail, sen­tences for thugs: Scheer

The Province - - NEWS - AN­TONELLA AR­TUSO aar­tuso@post­

A fed­eral Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment would crack down on gang-re­lated crimes with tougher sen­tences and stricter bail rules, Leader An­drew Scheer prom­ises.

Rather than bring in a hand­gun ban — as re­quested by Toronto Mayor John Tory and un­der con­sid­er­a­tion by the Trudeau govern­ment — Scheer said he’d make it eas­ier to iden­tify gang mem­bers and keep them in jail.

“Gang crimes, par­tic­u­larly gang mur­ders, have been on the rise,” he said Thurs­day dur­ing a stop in Bramp­ton. “We have seen sev­eral shock­ing in­ci­dents of gang vi­o­lence this sum­mer, in­clud­ing a shoot­ing on a chil­dren’s play­ground not too far away from here.”

Two young girls were hit by gun­fire while play­ing in a Scar­bor­ough play­ground, in­no­cent by­standers who took bul­lets ap­par­ently meant for some­one else.

The Con­ser­va­tive an­ti­crime an­nounce­ment came on the same day the Trudeau govern­ment an­nounced $85.5 mil­lion for ini­tia­tives to com­bat gun and gang vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing stepped-up mea­sures at the bor­der to pre­vent il­le­gal guns en­ter­ing from the United States.

Scheer said that if his party forms the fed­eral govern­ment next year, it would guar­an­tee that re­peat “gang of­fend­ers” are held with­out bail.

Pa­role would be re­voked if an of­fender af­fil­i­ates with a crim­i­nal gang, and the gang lead­ers would be sub­ject to stiffer manda­tory penal­ties for order­ing crim­i­nal acts — as would any­one who com­mit­ted a gang-re­lated crime, he said.

The govern­ment would also iden­tify gangs in the crim­i­nal code rather than re­quire pros­e­cu­tors to prove in court for each case that an or­ga­ni­za­tion is crim­i­nal in na­ture, he said.

“Ev­ery­one knows that Hells An­gels and MS-13 are dan­ger­ous, vi­o­lent gangs,” Scheer said.

Vic­tims ad­vo­cate Joe Wam­back praised the ini­tia­tives, say­ing he hopes there will be greater reper­cus­sions for those who prey on oth­ers.

“Too of­ten we see peo­ple who have been de­stroyed, fam­i­lies de­stroyed, com­mu­ni­ties de­stroyed by acts of vi­o­lent crimes,” Wam­back said.

Scheer said he also be­lieves that pro­gram funds need to be spent in the com­mu­nity to help youth avoid a life of crime and on first-time young of­fend­ers to avoid re­cidi­vism.

“On a hand­gun ban, I be­lieve that this is a typ­i­cal Lib­eral pro­posal of sym­bol­ism over sub­stance,” he said.


Fed­eral Con­ser­va­tive leader An­drew Scheer talks in Bramp­ton yes­ter­day about his new crime poli­cies.

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