ONTARIO PC PARTY WILL ALWAYS RESPECT VETERANS, SOLDIERS AND POLICE

Published on May 31, 2018
While NDP refuse to apologize for history of profane and racial taunts at police officers, the Ontario PC Party continues to hold itself to a higher standard
Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford today reinforced the Ontario PC Party’s commitment to respecting Ontario veterans, soldiers and police officers, including through meaningful action as detailed in his Plan for the People.
Our party will always, without exception, respect our soldiers, respect our veterans and respect our police officers,” said Ford. “Our veterans are heroes who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today. The women and men of the Canadian Forces are heroes. They sacrifice so much to protect our country. And, here at home, our police officers risk so much each and every day to protect our neighbourhoods and keep us safe.”
Ford shared how an Ontario PC Government will introduce legislation that guarantees no Ontario Legion Branch will ever have to pay property tax. In addition, an Ontario PC Government will commit additional resources to fighting gangs and guns, organized crime, drug smuggling, child exploitation and human trafficking. Ford also committed to hiring more corrections, probation and parole officers and fixing the flawed Bill 175 that unfairly targets police.
Ford contrasted his support for veterans, soldiers and police officers to the documented record of multiple extreme NDP candidates slandering and disrespecting their service. 
Previously, NDP candidates have attacked veterans for ‘brainwashing’ families, while accusing Canadian soldiers of committing war crimes. This week, additional details emerged of two other star NDP candidates with a documented history of attacking police officers with profanity and racial slurs. NDP candidates, to date, have failed to apologize for their actions — and Andrea Horwath continues to indulge their behaviour.
“For the NDP to behave this way is flat-out is wrong,” said Ford. “This kind of  slanderous language, this endorsement of violence against police and this utter lack of patriotism would not be acceptable in most Ontario households. But it is right at home in the NDP. In the PC party — that is a line that we will never cross. My commitment to our veterans, soldiers and police officers is that we will always respect you.”
Backgrounder – Justice
 
  • The passage of Bill 175 (the Safer Ontario Act / Police Services Act) by the Liberals, and Kathleen Wynne’s handling of the province’s criminal justice system has been met with opposition from various policing associations and has also significantly hurt policing efforts in the province.[1]

  • While Bill 175 has many flaws, one of the more controversial sections is the Liberals’ drive to privatize police services – the new legislation provides police boards with the ability to outsource some vital policing services to private companies.[2]
  • In contrast to the perspective of the Wynne Liberals, a recent poll of 2,000 Ontarians indicated only 6 per cent of people would privatize police services, while 92 per cent indicated they felt safe or very safe in their community and wanted to maintain or increase police presence.[3] As usual, the Wynne Liberals have failed to listen to the people of Ontario.
  • The province has also failed to address the increasing problem of gang and gun violence in this province, specifically in Toronto and Ottawa.

 

  • In Toronto alone, there were 40 gun-related homicides in 2016 – the most in nearly a decade – with over 400 separate shooting incidents. Ottawa witnessed 65 shootings in 2016 – the second highest murder total in the last 30 years.[4] Sadly, one year prior to this increase in violence, the Liberals cut funding for the anti-guns-and-gangs task forces in Ottawa and Toronto.
  • The NDP are no better, as Andrea Horwath continues to stand by one of her ‘star’ candidates who proudly displayed a distasteful anti-police sign during a protest.[5]
  • Andrea Horwath has also refused to stand with the brave veterans who served and sacrificed for our country. NDP candidate Laura Kaminker previously wrote that commemorating the service of our veterans was a product of “collective brainwashing”, and labelled the symbol of the poppy as “fake” and “another ritual of war glorification” and made through “prison labour’”[6] – comments that Horwath has not condemned.[7]
  • Currently, in Ontario, some Royal Canadian Legions (RCL), which provide great advocacy and services for our veterans, pay property taxes and those that do not, may receive a rebate which they must reapply for every few years.
  • The province has become responsible for placing Ontario’s parole and probation officers in harm’s way. Parole and probation officers have voiced concerns regarding excessive caseloads, which lead to unsafe conditions and criminals breaking the terms of their probation.
  • Ontario has roughly 900 full-time parole and probation officers in the province, yet the province has 43,000 cases at any given time. Ontario’s probation and parole officers have the highest caseloads in the country, while the provincial government is in second-last place when it comes to funding-per-offender serving a community sentence.[8]
  • Human trafficking is also a serious problem throughout our province. In 2017, police noted that at least 25 per cent of sex trade workers are victims of trafficking, and it’s become a major problem along the 401 corridor between Windsor and Toronto.[9] In fact, a large portion of the human trafficking that occurs in Canada, happens right here in Ontario.[10] We can do better.
 
How We Will Fix It:
 
  • A Doug Ford Ontario PC Government will take steps to better protect our communities and stop crime. This includes restoring the funding that the Liberals cut in half to the anti-guns-and-gangs units in Ottawa and Toronto in order to better protect our communities and stop crime.
  • Restoring funding to the anti-guns-and-gangs units in Ottawa and Toronto will cost the government $3 million annually.
  • The Ontario PCs will also fix Bill 175 (Police Services Act) and treat our police with respect.
  • Doug Ford and the Ontario PCs recognize that probation and parole officers are overburdened with caseloads. That is why the Ontario PCs will commit to hire more probation and parole officers to hold criminals accountable and protect victims. We will work to reduce the caseload per probation officer.
  • This policy will cost $30 million annually, and will be implemented in year two of the mandate.
  • A Doug Ford Ontario PC Government will also dedicate resources to fight organized crime, including the production and smuggling of contraband and illicit drugs, as well as child exploitation and human trafficking. This policy will cost $35 million over the mandate. This funding will also be used to commit resources to combat domestic abuse, including elder abuse.
  • Recognizing the good service legions provide our veterans, Doug Ford and the Ontario PCs will amend the Assessment Act to ensure that Ontario Branches of the Royal Canadian Legion pay no property tax. We will ensure this is permanent exemption for legions that does not need to be renewed.
 


[1] https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/ontarios-police-associations-bill-175-disappoints-police-with-changes-that-do-not-reflect-the-reality-of-policing-in-ontario-676272173.html
[2] Ibid
[3] https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/ontarios-police-associations-respond-to-ontarios-police-services-act-update-654716313.html
[4] http://torontosun.com/2016/12/27/sharp-rise-in-murders-in-toronto-in-2016/wcm/8407a1dd-4250-494b-9d6d-2d2d8052d1a5; http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/what-is-going-on-in-ottawa-2016-shatters-shooting-record-approaches-new-homicide-mark
[5] https://globalnews.ca/news/4239013/andrea-horwath-ontario-ndp-cop-sign/
[6] http://torontosun.com/news/provincial/warmington-ndp-candidate-sparks-outrage-with-poppy-remark
[7] https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2018/05/20/andrea-horwath-defends-ndp-candidate-over-remembrance-day-comments.html
[8] http://globalnews.ca/news/3429225/ontarios-probation-system-a-joke-say-offenders/; http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/tackling-probation-violations-requires-realistic-funding-opseu-622084223.html
[9] http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/london-ontario-sex-trafficking-1.3945026
[10] http://ottawasun.com/2016/07/28/group-fighting-human-trafficking-says-canada-needs-to-step-up/wcm/f41d7e33-2c7a-4484-bb1f-f75f4c29cd79