Transcript: Election Promises for Safer Cities | Oct 12, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped lavender tie.

A caption on screen reads "Election promises for safer cities."

Steve says 2018 IS ON PACE TO BE
ONE OF THE WORST FOR GUN
VIOLENCE IN THE GTA.
IT HASN'T BEEN THIS BAD SINCE
2005 - THE SO-CALLED "YEAR OF
THE GUN."
MICHAEL BRYANT WAS ONTARIO'S
ATTORNEY GENERAL THEN, AND KNOWS
THE PRESSURE AND URGENCY THAT
POLITICIANS ENCOUNTER WHEN
PEOPLE FEAR FOR THEIR PUBLIC
SAFETY.
HE IS NOW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
THE CANADIAN CIVIL LIBERTIES
ASSOCIATION, AND AS VOTERS GO TO
THE POLLS TO CHOOSE THE MAYORS
AND CITY COUNCILLORS TO TAKE
ACTION ON VIOLENT CRIME, HE
JOINS US FOR SOME PERSPECTIVE ON
THIS ISSUE.

Michael is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He's wearing a black suit, blue shirt, and spotted gray tie.

Steve continues MICHAEL, GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

Michael says GOOD TO BE HERE.

Steve says THANK YOU FOR COMING
IN.
LET'S DO SOME BACKGROUND.
WE MENTIONED THE YEAR OF THE
GUN, 2005.
52 GUN DEATHS.
359 SHOOTING VICTIMS IN ONTARIO.
YOU WERE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.
I WONDER HOW... HOW RESPONSIBLE
DID YOU FEEL AT THAT TIME TO
SOLVE THAT?

The caption changes to "Michael Bryant. Canadian Civil Liberties Association."
Then, it changes again to "A grim time in the Capital City."

Michael says SOME.
A LOT.
MORE THAN PERHAPS I DESERVED TO
PUT ON MY SHOULDERS IN THAT I
WAS EXAGGERATING THE ROLE THAT I
COULD PLAY.
HOWEVER, I WAS IN THE HOT SEAT,
AND DURING QUESTION PERIOD, I
WAS ON THE HOT SEAT AND THE
PREMIER WAS ON THE HOT SEAT.
AND WE WERE SCRAMBLING, AS A
PROVINCE, TO RESPOND TO THIS.
EVEN THOUGH IT'S... THERE'S A
LOT OF... THERE'S A ROLE FOR THE
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT, BUT ALSO,
YOU KNOW, WE HAD MOST OF THE
SEATS IN TORONTO.
SO IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US
IN 2005 TO BE RESPONSIVE TO OUR
CONSTITUENTS.
AND I... LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY:
I LEFT QUESTION PERIOD ONE DAY
AFTER YET ANOTHER GUN DEATH, AND
THE SECURITY GUARDS, WHO ARE
KNOWN TO BE VERY PROFESSIONAL,
THEY NEVER SAY ANYTHING TO YOU
ABOUT ANYTHING.
SHE SAID, "YOU MUST HAVE THE
WEIGHT OF THE WORLD ON YOUR
SHOULDERS."
AND I MUST HAVE LOOKED LIKE THAT
AND I CERTAINLY FELT LIKE THAT.

Steve says WELL, TO SOLVE
SOMETHING, YOU'VE GOT TO KNOW
WHY IT'S HAPPENING.

Michael says RIGHT.

Steve says DID YOU GUYS HAVE
ANY IDEA WHY THIS WAS HAPPENING?

Michael says NO.
IN FACT I THOUGHT TO MYSELF,
DOESN'T ANYBODY KNOW WHY GUN
CRIME HAS GONE UP?
AND COULDN'T WE HAVE SEEN THIS
COMING?
AND WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS?
YOU KNOW, IN THE TOOL BOX DEAL,
LIKE PULL OUT A LITTLE HAMMER
AND BREAK IT AND THEN YOU BRING
IN WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO IN
GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS IT, AND
THERE WASN'T ONE.
AND I... YOU KNOW, GOVERNMENTS
SCRAMBLE SOMETIMES, AND DALTON
McGUINTY IS NOT A SCRAMBLER.
HE'S NOT.
BUT AS MUCH AS HE COULD BE
SCRAMBLING, WE ALL WERE.
FANTINO WAS VERY INVOLVED.

Steve says THE CHIEF OF THE DAY.

Michael says RIGHT.
AND CHIEF FANTINO WAS ON THE
PHONE WITH ME AND THE PREMIER
WAS ON THE PHONE WITH ME AND WE
WERE... WE DIDN'T HAVE A WHOLE
BUNCH OF SOLUTIONS.
WE DIDN'T HAVE A WHOLE BUNCH OF
THINGS WE COULD COME TO THE
TABLE WITH, ALTHOUGH WE DID COME
TO THE TABLE.

Steve says I WAS GOING TO SAY.
YOU DID IMPLEMENT SOME THINGS.
GIVE ME ONE, TWO, THREE, THE
THINGS YOU IMPLEMENTED.

The caption changes to "Michael Bryant. Former Attorney General of Ontario."

Michael says WE CREATED THE GUNS AND GANGS
TASK FORCE, WHERE WE PUT
TOGETHER POLICE FROM ALL
DIFFERENT JURISDICTIONS IN THE
SAME ROOM WITH PROSECUTORS FROM
ALL THE... FROM THE TWO
JURISDICTIONS IN THE SAME ROOM,
AND WE PUT ALL THEIR COMPUTERS
AND DATABASES IN THE SAME ROOM.
IT HAD NOT BEEN DONE BEFORE.
AND THE IDEA WAS, THEY WOULD GO
OUT AND WE WOULD... AND THE
ORGANIZED JUSTICE TEAM, AS IT
WAS CALLED, WOULD BE MORE
ORGANIZED THAN ORGANIZED CRIME,
BECAUSE WE ENVISIONED IT AS AN
ORGANIZED CRIME PROBLEM.

Steve says DID YOU THINK THAT
WOULD WORK?

Michael says YES, WE DID, ALTHOUGH... YOU
KNOW, IT SEEMED TO ME... WE KNEW
THAT WE WEREN'T NECESSARILY
STRIKING AT WHATEVER THE
VARIABLE WAS THAT DROVE THE
CRIME UP.
IT DID SEEM, HOWEVER, THAT WE
WOULD BE ABLE TO GO OUT THERE
AND BE ACTIVE AND BE SEEN TO BE
ACTIVE, SO PEOPLE WOULD FEEL
LIKE THEIR GOVERNMENT WAS DOING
SOMETHING.

Steve says BECAUSE THAT'S
IMPORTANT, OBVIOUSLY, RIGHT?
YOU NOT ONLY HAVE TO DO
SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO BE SEEN TO
BE DOING SOMETHING?

Michael says YEAH.
ALTHOUGH, IN THESE TIMES, THE
CHALLENGE IS... IT IS LEGITIMATE
FOR PEOPLE TO BE AFRAID, BUT TO
PLAY TO THOSE FEARS, WHAT ENDS
UP HAPPENING IS THAT THE MOST
VULNERABLE IN OUR SOCIETY END UP
GETTING SCOOPED UP.
YOU KNOW, MANY YEARS LATER, I
WOULD FIND MYSELF AS A DEFENCE
LAWYER TO PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN
ARRESTED BY THE GUNS AND GANGS
TASK FORCE, AND SOME OF THESE
PEOPLE... THIS WAS NOT WHAT I
HAD IN MIND WHEN WE SET IT UP.
THEY WERE... THE NET WAS BEING
CAST SO WIDE THAT IT WASN'T JUST
PICKING UP ORGANIZED CRIME, IT
WAS PICKING UP ANYBODY IN THE
VICINITY OF ORGANIZED CRIME.

Steve says SO IN HINDSIGHT, DO
YOU THINK THAT SOLUTION WAS
EFFECTIVE IN REDUCING GUN CRIME
IN THE CITY?

Michael says WELL, IT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
I MEAN, I SAID THAT GUN CRIME
WENT DOWN, BECAUSE IT DID GO DOWN.

Steve says BUT DO YOU KNOW IF
THERE'S A CAUSE AND EFFECT?

Michael says NO.

Steve says YOU DON'T KNOW IF
YOUR IDEAS ACTUALLY HAD AN IMPACT.

Michael says I DIDN'T.
THIS ISN'T MEANT TO BE CRITICAL
OF THE GUNS AND GANGS TASK
FORCE.
THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT HAS
NEVER BEEN DONE.
I DON'T KNOW HOW SUCCESSFUL IT
HAS BEEN.
I GET A SENSE THAT THERE WAS A
WHOLE BUNCH OF ARRESTS MADE.
I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THERE WAS A
LOT OF CONVICTIONS.
BUT THE EXTENT TO WHICH IT
ACTUALLY CAUSED THE DECREASE, WE
JUST DON'T KNOW.

Steve says COULD IT BE
SOMETHING AS CRAZY... MY
RECOLLECTION WAS THAT WAS A VERY
HOT SUMMER.
COULD IT BE SOMETHING AS
RIDICULOUS AS THE ENSUING
SUMMERS WEREN'T AS HOT.
THEREFORE, PEOPLE'S TRIGGER
FINGERS WEREN'T AS ITCHY?

Michael says YEAH, SURE.

Steve says IT COULD BE, EH?

The caption changes to "Michael Bryant, @MJ-Bryant."

Michael says IT COULD BE.
BUT HERE'S THE THING: SOCIAL
SCIENCE HASN'T GIVEN US AN
ANSWER TO THIS.
WE DON'T KNOW.
BEHAVIOURAL SCIENCE HASN'T GIVEN
US AN ANSWER TO THIS.
WE DON'T KNOW WHAT CAUSES CRIME
TO GO UP.
OVER THE LAST YEAR I'VE BEEN
TALKING TO CHIEFS, DEPUTY
MINISTERS, RETIRED... YOU KNOW,
WHO SPENT DECADES ON THIS, AND
SAID, WE DON'T REALLY KNOW WHY
GUN CRIME GOES UP, DO WE?
AND THEY SAY, NO, WE DON'T.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says WE DO LIKE TO DEAL
WITH EMPIRICALLY PROVABLE FACTS
ON THIS PROGRAM AND WE HAVE SOME
TO SHARE.
2018 HAS BEEN A VERY VIOLENT
YEAR.
SHELDON, SHALL WE BRING THIS
GRAPHIC UP RIGHT HERE?
WE CALLED SOME OF THE POLICE
SERVICES IN THE AREA TO SEE HOW
MANY HOMICIDES OF ALL TYPES,
SHOOTINGS, STABBINGS, HAVE HAPPENED.
HERE'S A BIT OF A COMPARISON IN
THE GREATER TORONTO AREA.
LET'S LOOK... WE'LL LOOK FIRST
IN THE COLUMN OF 2017.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Homicides in the GTA. Rising violence in our region."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
TORONTO AT 65.
WE'RE AT 85 NOW.
AND OF COURSE THE YEAR IS NOT
OVER.
SO MUCH MORE THAN LAST YEAR.
THEN LET'S GO TO PEEL REGION.
16 LAST YEAR.
21 THIS YEAR.
YORK REGION 10 AND 10.
DURHAM 9 AND 9.
HALTON DOWN A COUPLE, 3 AND 1.
OVERALL, 103 MURDERS LAST YEAR.
126, INCLUDING ONE LAST NIGHT, A
26-YEAR-OLD RYERSON STUDENT LAST
NIGHT.
SO, AGAIN, THE YEAR IS NOT OVER,
AND THE NUMBERS OVERALL ARE UP.
NOW, WHAT JUMPS OUT AT YOU WHEN
YOU SEE THOSE STATS?

The caption changes to "Michael Bryant. Canadian Civil Liberties Association."
Then, it changes again to "The talk of the town."

Michael says THAT THEY'RE... WELL, EACH
ONE OF THOSE IS A TRAGEDY, BUT
THEY'RE RELATIVELY SMALL.
WE STILL LIVE IN A SAFE CITY.

Steve says THAT IS HARD TO KEEP
IN MIND WHEN YOU SEE...

Michael says YEAH, I KNOW.

Steve says... ANY MURDERS, RIGHT?

Michael says MULTIPLY THOSE NUMBERS BY
FOUR AND THAT'S THE SUICIDE
NUMBERS IN THE GTA.
OKAY?
MULTIPLY THOSE NUMBERS BY 30,
AND THAT'S THE NUMBER OF
ACCIDENTAL DEATHS.

Steve says CAR ACCIDENTS.

Michael says RIGHT.

Steve says EVERYTHING?

Michael says RIGHT.

Steve says PERSPECTIVE IS THE WORD.

Michael says PERSPECTIVE... YOU KNOW, YOU
GET AFRAID WHEN YOU SEE THOSE
NUMBERS.
I DON'T THINK PEOPLE GET AFRAID
WHEN THEY HEAR ABOUT ACCIDENTAL
DEATHS.
THEY DON'T THINK IT'S GOING TO
HAPPEN TO THEM.
WHEN YOU WATCH THE NEWS, THERE'S
NO RECORDS ON SUICIDES.
RARELY REPORTS ON A MOTOR
VEHICLE DEATH, UNLESS IT'S QUITE
SPECTACULAR.
AND THERE'S OFTEN, ACTUALLY, NO
REPORTS ON HOMICIDES EITHER,
UNTIL YOU GET TO A TIPPING
POINT, AND IN TORONTO, IT'S
AROUND 35.
ONCE YOU GET TO ABOUT 35 GUN
HOMICIDES, THEN EVERY SINGLE ONE
IS ARMAGEDDON.

Steve says THIS IS NOT
NECESSARILY AN ISSUE, THOUGH,
WHERE LOGIC PREVAILS.

Michael says RIGHT.

Steve says CAN YOU SIT HERE AND
TELL PEOPLE, THE GREATER TORONTO
AREA IS STILL OVERWHELMINGLY A
SAFE PLACE TO LIVE?

Michael says OH, YEAH.

Steve says YOU CAN SAY THAT.

Michael says 100 PERCENT, YES.

Steve says THESE NUMBERS
NOTWITHSTANDING?

Michael says THAT'S RIGHT.
THESE NUMBERS... HOMICIDES ARE
AROUND 20, 22nd, ON THE LIST
OF HOW PEOPLE DIE IN CANADA.

Steve says YET PRETTY CLOSE TO
THE TOP OF THE LIST OF WHAT
CONSTITUENTS WANT THEIR
POLITICIANS TO SOLVE.

Michael says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT
THAT CONUNDRUM?

Michael says WELL, YOU... I'M NOT SURE
IT'S AT THE TOP OF THE LIST,
ACTUALLY.
IF YOU LOOK AT OUR BUDGETS AND
YOU LOOK AT WHAT GOVERNMENTS DO
MOSTLY, IT'S HEALTH CARE AND
EDUCATION, PROVINCIAL...

Steve says NO, I MEAN IN TERMS
OF CRIME.
IN TERMS OF CRIME, PEOPLE WANT
YOU TO SOLVE HANDGUN CRIME,
MURDERS, THAT'S NUMBER ONE.
THEY'RE NOT BANGING YOUR DOORS
DOWN TO SOLVE ACCIDENTAL DEATHS.

Michael says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says OR EVEN SUICIDES...

Michael says SO YOU NEED TO HAVE AN
ANSWER.
AND THE ANSWER USUALLY COMES
DOWN TO ONE OF LOOKING TOUGH AND
PUNISHING.
IT'S BASED ON A... IT'S A LITTLE
BIT OF AN OLD TESTAMENT APPROACH
TO CRIME, AND IT'S BASED ON THE
IDEA THAT EVERYBODY HAS A
SOMEWHAT SIMILAR BACKGROUND,
WE'RE QUITE RATIONAL AND
ORDERLY, AND IF WE ARE SHOWN A
DETERRENT, WELL, THEN, WE'LL
RESPOND TO THAT DETERRENT.
IF WE END UP BEING ARRESTED AND
GOING TO JAIL, WE WILL HAVE
LEARNED OUR LESSON, AND THEN BE
REHABILITATED.
THAT'S WHAT THE CRIMINAL CODE
SAYS.
BUT THAT'S NOT REFLECTIVE OF
LIFE, AND IT'S CERTAINLY NOT
REFLECTIVE OF THE PEOPLE WHO END
UP GETTING CAUGHT UP IN THE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.

Steve says NOT THAT I'M NOT
INTERESTED IN YOUR ANSWERS TO
ALL THE QUESTIONS, BUT I'M
REALLY INTERESTED IN YOUR ANSWER
TO THIS NEXT QUESTION.
BECAUSE YOU'RE THE GUY WHO IS
REPRESENTING AN ORGANIZATION
THAT CARES ABOUT INDIVIDUAL
CIVIL RIGHTS IN OUR SOCIETY.

Michael says MM-HMM.

Steve says YOU'RE ALSO A FORMER
ATTORNEY GENERAL WHO WAS WORRIED
ABOUT CRIME, AND YOU'VE TOLD US
HOW MUCH THAT AFFECTED YOU WHEN
YOU WERE IN OFFICE.
JOHN TORY, MAYOR, RUNNING FOR
REELECTION, HAS ASKED THE
QUESTION: DOES ANYONE IN TORONTO
ACTUALLY NEED TO OWN A HANDGUN?

Michael says RIGHT.
NO.

Steve says AND YOUR ANSWER IS
NO.

Michael says NO.

Steve says YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT
THE PERSONAL FREEDOM OF
SOMEBODY, MAYBE BEING A SPORT
SHOOTER, BEING ALLOWED TO OWN A GUN?

The caption changes to "Elections: A great time to talk about policy."

Michael says FIRSTLY, NO, I DON'T.
BUT I WAS ALSO ENTERING AN
ORGANIZATION AND WANTED TO KNOW
WHAT THE ORGANIZATION'S VIEW WAS.
AND THE CANADIAN CIVIL LIBERTIES
ASSOCIATION HISTORICALLY HAS NOT
TAKEN A POSITION ON PROPERTY
RIGHTS, AND THAT'S WHAT THAT IS.
THAT'S ABOUT HAVING THE RIGHT TO
OWN A PARTICULAR PIECE OF
PROPERTY, AND WE HAVEN'T
TAKEN... WE'VE NEVER TAKEN A
POSITION ON THAT.
AND IF THE CHOICE IS BETWEEN
CARDING AND RACIAL PROFILING, ON
THE ONE HAND, AND RESTRICTING
PEOPLE'S ACCESS TO PROPERTY ON
THE OTHER HAND, WE'RE GOING TO
SUPPORT THE LATTER.

Steve says TORONTO MAYORALTY
CANDIDATE JENNIFER KEESMAAT, THE
CHIEF CHALLENGER TO THE CURRENT
MAYOR, WANTS A HANDGUN AND
ASSAULT RIFLE BAN IN THE CITY.
IF YOU DID THAT... AND, AGAIN,
IT'S OBVIOUSLY NOT A TORONTO
CITY COUNCILLOR'S RESPONSIBILITY
TO DO THAT, THAT'S A FEDERAL
RESPONSIBILITY.

Michael says RIGHT.

Steve says IF YOU DID THAT, IS
THERE ANY REASON TO SUSPECT IT
WOULD REDUCE MURDERS IN THE CITY?

Michael says MAYBE AT THE MARGINS.
LOWERING GUN SUPPLY IS POSITIVE.
IT IS.
SO THAT WILL LOWER GUN SUPPLY.
SO THAT WOULD BE POSITIVE.
BUT TO HAVE A REAL IMPACT, YOU
NEED TO LOWER ALL GUN SUPPLY
OVERALL, AND THAT REQUIRES GUN
CONTROL.
THAT'S GOING TO REQUIRE PEOPLE
TO REGISTER THEIR WEAPONS.

Steve says AND THAT'S NOT ON.

Michael says THAT'S NOT ON.

Steve says RIGHT.
NOT ONLY STEPHEN HARPER GOT RID
OF THE REGISTRY, JUSTIN TRUDEAU
IS NOT FOR IT EITHER.

Michael says YEAH, YEAH.

Steve says PATRICK BROWN, WHO
IS RUNNING FOR MAYOR IN
BRAMPTON, WANTS TO HIRE MORE
POLICE OFFICERS.
WOULD PUTTING MORE COPS ON THE
BEAT REDUCE THE NUMBER OF
HOMICIDES?

Michael says NO.

Steve says WHY NOT?
THAT SOUNDS COUNTER-INTUITIVE.

Michael says BECAUSE IT ASSUMES THAT THE
PEOPLE WHO FIND THEMSELVES IN
ALLEGED HOMICIDES... I MEAN, THE
OTHER THING I WAS GOING TO STAY
ABOUT THOSE STATS IS, THE
ALLEGATION IS THAT THEY'RE
HOMICIDES.
WE DON'T KNOW THAT THEY'RE
HOMICIDES UNTIL THE COURTS
DECIDE IT.
THEY MAY... SOME OF THEM MAY
TURN OUT TO BE ACCIDENTAL
DEATHS.

Steve says AT THE MOMENT THE
POLICE SAY THEY ARE HOMICIDES.

Michael says RIGHT.
SO IT DOESN'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE
BECAUSE BY AND LARGE THE PEOPLE
WHO ARE IN THE CRIMINAL LEGAL
SYSTEM OR THE PEOPLE WHO FIND
THEMSELVES IN THE CRIMINAL LEGAL
SYSTEM, MANY OF THEM, THEIR
LIVES ARE CHAOS.
IF YOU GO INTO A MENTAL HEALTH
COURT AND YOU SIT THERE FOR A
COUPLE OF HOURS AND THEN GO OVER
INTO THE NON-MENTAL HEALTH
COURT, THE REGULAR INTAKE COURT,
YOU'RE GOING TO FIND THAT
THERE'S REALLY NO DIFFERENCE AT
ALL.
SO IF ONE HAS NOTHING BUT CHAOS
IN THEIR LIFE, IF ONE HAS A
MENTAL ILLNESS, IF ONE IS AN
ADDICT, THEN THE NUMBER OF
POLICE OFFICERS, THE EXISTENCE
OF DETERRENT, THERE'S TOO MUCH
GOING ON FOR THAT TO HAVE ANY
IMPACT WHATSOEVER.

Steve says SO IF I HEAR A
POLITICAL CANDIDATE
SAYING, "WE'RE GOING TO SPEND
THE MONEY TO PUT 200 MORE COPS
ON THE STREET AND THAT'S GOING
TO REDUCE HOMICIDES --."

Michael says IT'S NOT.

Steve says IT'S NOT?

Michael says IT'S NOT.

Steve says LET'S DO ANOTHER
IDEA HERE.
THE MAYOR OF BRAMPTON, LINDA
JEFFREY, WHO IS RUNNING FOR
RE-ELECTION, WANTS TO CREATE WHAT
SHE CALLS MORE EMPLOYMENT
OPPORTUNITIES AS PART OF HER
SAFER COMMUNITIES PLAN.
SHE SAYS THAT WOULD REDUCE
HOMICIDES ON THE STREETS.
IS THAT TRUE?

Michael says WELL, WE DON'T KNOW
BECAUSE... I MEAN, I THINK A JOB
IS FOR SURE THE BEST WAY TO GET
A YOUNG PERSON AWAY FROM A GANG
AND ONTO A DIFFERENT LIFE.
FOR SURE.
MOST OF THE KIDS... WHEN I SAY
"KIDS," I INCLUDE YOUNG ADULTS
WHO ARE IN GANGS, ARE RUNNING
AWAY FROM THEMSELVES AND RUNNING
AWAY FROM THEIR LIVES AND THEY
ARE... THEY ARE LIVING IN CHAOS
AND THEY ARE CHRONICALLY
IMMATURE AND THERE MAY BE
ADDICTIONS AS WELL.
A JOB IS A FAR BETTER BLUEPRINT
FOR THEIR LIFE THAN THE ONE THAT
THEY'VE UNDERTAKEN BY JOINING A
GANG BECAUSE THEY NEEDED TO JOIN
SOMETHING.

Steve says BEST SOCIAL PROGRAM
AROUND, AS BRIAN MULRONEY USED
TO SAY.

Michael says THAT'S RIGHT, THAT'S RIGHT.
MORE LIKELY, BUT AGAIN, THAT
ASSUMES THAT WE'RE GOING TO
ACTUALLY PREVENT THESE HOMICIDES
FROM HAPPENING BY HAVING MORE
JOBS.
WE DON'T KNOW NECESSARILY THAT
IT'S GOING TO HAVE AN IMPACT,
BUT IT IS A LOT MORE LIKELY TO
DO SO THAN THE MORE POLICE
OPTION.

Steve says WE ARE, OF COURSE, I
GUESS LESS THAN A WEEK AND A
HALF AWAY FROM MUNICIPAL
ELECTION DAY, SO WE ARE TALKING
ABOUT CRIME AS IT RELATES TO
MUNICIPAL POLITICS.
BUT IS THE MUNICIPAL LEVEL OF
GOVERNMENT THE GOVERNMENT AT
WHICH WE OUGHT TO BE REGISTERING
OUR CONCERNS ABOUT THIS, AS IN,
IT'S THE GOVERNMENT THAT CAN
ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS?

The caption changes to "Feeling safer versus being safer."

Michael says WELL, YES AND NO.
I MEAN, THE POLICE ARE THE FRONT
LINES WITHIN OUR SOCIETY FOR THE
PEOPLE WHO END UP IN THE
CRIMINAL LEGAL SYSTEM.
SO, GETTING POLICING RIGHT DOES
HAPPEN AT THE MUNICIPAL LEVEL.
GETTING POLICING RIGHT HAS TO
HAPPEN AT THE MUNICIPAL LEVEL.
AND THE CHIEF OF POLICE IN
TORONTO AND THE MAYOR OF TORONTO
CAN DO MORE TO CHANGE THE WAY IN
WHICH WE DEAL WITH CRIME THAN
ANYONE ELSE.
HOWEVER, MY VIEW IS, IT'S A
HEALTH CARE PROBLEM.
IT'S NOT A CRIME PROBLEM.
IT'S NOT A MATTER OF ORDER.
IT'S NOT THAT WE NEED TO IMPOSE
MORE ORDER.
IT'S NOT THAT.
IT'S THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO
ARE UNWELL.
THEY NEED TO BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR
WHAT THEY DO.
BUT IF YOU WANT TO LOWER CRIME,
THEN YOU NEED TO IMPROVE THEIR
MENTAL HEALTH AND THAT'S VERY
DIFFERENT FROM SAYING THEY'RE
NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR
CRIMES.
I'M NOT SAYING THAT.
THEY ARE.
BUT IF YOU WANT THEM NOT TO
COMMIT CRIME, THEN WE NEED TO
GET HEALTH CARE IN FRONT OF THEM
BEFORE THE POLICE GET IN FRONT
OF THEM, BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENS
RIGHT NOW IS, THE POLICE ARE THE
FRONT LINE, THE POLICE ONLY KNOW
AND ARE ONLY ABLE TO BASICALLY
DO ONE THING: CHARGE THEM.
OR NOT CHARGE THEM.
BUT THEY CAN'T MAKE THEM BETTER
OR TAKE THEM TO A PLACE WHERE
THEY MIGHT GET BETTER OR START
TO GET BETTER.
SO WHAT HAPPENS IS, THEY CHARGE
THEM.
AND THEN THE NEXT THING YOU
KNOW, THEY HAVE A RECORD, AND
THEN THEY CAN'T GET A JOB, AND
THEN THEY HAVE TERMS ON THEIR
RELEASE THAT REQUIRES THEM TO
COME BACK, AND IT'S A REVOLVING
DOOR, BUT IT'S A REVOLVING DOOR
OF ITS OWN MAKING.
THE CRIMINAL LEGAL SYSTEM FEEDS
ITSELF.
THAT'S WHAT IT DOES.
AND IF WE WANT IT TO LOWER
CRIME, ONE WAY WOULD BE TO
CHARGE LESS.

Steve says WOULD THAT BE APPROPRIATE?

Michael says YES.

Steve says IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE?

Michael says 100 PERCENT.

Steve says WE CHARGE TOO MANY PEOPLE.

Michael says WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE.
WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE.

Steve says PRESUMABLY THERE'S A
SELF-INTEREST WITHIN THE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO DO THAT.

Michael says I'M NOT SAYING IT'S A CORRUPT
SELF-INTEREST.
IT'S NOT LIKE PEOPLE SAY, "WELL,
THIS IS GOING TO HELP US."
BUT IT HAPPENS NEVERTHELESS.
YOU KNOW, WHAT DO POLICE USE
WHEN THEY GO TO MAKE THE CASE TO
THE POLICE BOARD FOR A BIGGER BUDGET?
THEY BRING CRIME STATS.
AND THEIR CRIME STATS INVOLVE
BOTH CRIME AND THE NUMBER OF
ARRESTS THEY MAKE AND HOW THEY
NEED TO MAKE MORE ARRESTS.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT MOST OF THE
CHARGES IN OUR CRIMINAL LEGAL
SYSTEM TODAY, THE NUMBER ONE
CHARGE IS AN ADMINISTRATION OF
JUSTICE CHARGE.
YOU BREACHED A TERM.
WELL, THAT'S KIND OF A
VICTIMLESS CRIME, RIGHT?
NUMBER TWO IS SIMPLE ASSAULT,
WHICH IS THAT.
IF YOU GOT A BRUISE, THAT'S
ASSAULT CAUSING BODILY HARM.
I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MANY PEOPLE
ARE IN BAIL COURT RIGHT NOW IN
BRAMPTON BECAUSE THEY HIT
SOMEONE WITH A SPATULA AND HAVE
BEEN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT WITH A
WEAPON.
MOST OF THE CHARGES IN THE
SYSTEM ARE TOTALLY UNNECESSARY.

Steve says CAN WE NOT HAVE
POLITICIANS, POLICE SERVICES,
CITIZENS, AN ADULT CONVERSATION
ABOUT THIS SO THAT WE STOP
CHARGING PEOPLE WHO HIT SOMEBODY
WITH A SPATULA?

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Michael says RIGHT.
IT WOULD NEED TO HAPPEN ON TVO,
OF COURSE.
ALL GREAT THINGS START ON TVO.
BUT, YEAH, WE DO NEED TO HAVE
THAT CONVERSATION BECAUSE IT...
WE'RE MAKING PEOPLE SICKER.
WE'RE NOT MAKING THEM BETTER.
AND WE'RE JUST CHARGING MORE AND
MORE AND MORE EVERY YEAR AND
WONDERING WHY WE HAVE BACKLOGS
IN THE SYSTEM.
IT'S NOT BECAUSE THE PROCESS IS
SO COMPLICATED.
IT'S BECAUSE THERE'S JUST TOO
MUCH TRAFFIC AND THERE'S TOO
MUCH TRAFFIC BECAUSE THERE ARE
TOO MANY CHARGES LAID.

Steve says LET'S JUST, IN OUR
LAST 30 SECONDS HERE, ASK FOR
YOUR OVERARCHING ADVICE, GIVEN
THAT ELECTION DAY IS SOON UPON
US. IF YOU CARE ABOUT CRIME AND
YOU HEAR THE POLITICIANS MAKING
VARIOUS OFFERS DURING THIS
MUNICIPAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN,
YOU'RE A VOTER.

Michael says RIGHT.

Steve says WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Michael says WELL, ASSUME THAT ALL THE
PROMISES AROUND POLICING HAVE
BEEN TRIED AND HAVE NOT MADE ANY
DIFFERENCE. THE MORE YOU HEAR
ABOUT ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF
ADDRESSING DANGEROUS BEHAVIOUR,
IF YOU HEAR THE WORD "MENTAL
HEALTH" OR YOU HEAR "COMMUNITY
SUPPORTS," OR "JOBS," POSITIVE.
I THINK THOSE ARE POSITIVE.
SOMETHING THAT LOWERS GUN
SUPPLY, POSITIVE.
SOMETHING THAT INVOLVES MORE
PUNISHMENT.
IT HAS NEVER MADE A DIFFERENCE
IN THE HUNDREDS OF YEARS THAT
WE'VE BEEN USING THIS SYSTEM
IN OUR PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM
ANYWAYS, AND, YOU KNOW, WE'VE
ALWAYS HAD CRIME AND WE'VE
ALWAYS HAD PEOPLE IN JAILS, AND
THE OVERALL TREND IS THAT HAS
GONE UP AND DOWN AND UP AND DOWN
BUT WE STILL ACTUALLY DON'T KNOW
WHY IT HAPPENS, AND I THINK A
POLITICIAN WHO SAYS THAT THEY
KNOW WHY IS EITHER WILFULLY
BLIND OR TRYING TO MISLEAD PEOPLE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Mark Brosens, @MarkBrosens."

Steve says WE THANK YOU FOR
YOUR TIME AND YOUR ADVICE.
THAT'S MICHAEL BRYANT, THE
FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL OF
ONTARIO, NOW THE EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF THE CCLA, THE
CANADIAN CIVIL LIBERTIES
ASSOCIATION. THANKS, MICHAEL.

Michael says THANK YOU.

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