JUST THE FACTS - PUBLIC SAFETY
Mark Saunders is the only candidate with a plan to prioritize public safety and keep people safe.
- Immediately meet with the Prime Minister to call for urgent reform to the bail system and Criminal Code to prevent ‘catch-and-release’ release policies.
- Push for the creation of a reverse onus at bail hearings for violent and repeat offenders, including those with firearm charges. People who fall into these groups should have an onus of being held unless they present a good reason to be released.
- Ensure that bail hearings for the most serious firearm offences are heard by a judge of the Superior Court, rather than at the lower provincial court level.
- Deliver a comprehensive TTC Safety Plan that includes tripling the number of on-patrol TTC Special Constables to at least 200 to start, integrating TTC Special Constables into the Toronto Police Service and installing more CCTV camera feeds across TTC.
As police chief, Mark:
- Secured millions in funding from all levels of government for police initiatives, including for Project Community Space and the Intensive Firearm Bail Team.
- Expanded the Neighbourhood Officer Program where officers are dedicated to a specific geographic area for five years to become a trusted resource for that community.
- Started the Special Constable Program, where unarmed peace officers are trained for non-frontline duties, such as helping hold crime scenes, traffic diversion, or escorting a person in crisis to the hospital so that police would be freed up for emergency calls.
- Created CORE, the online reporting tool which lets citizens report minor crimes immediately without having to wait for an officer to arrive.
- Expanded mental health training for officers, including de-escalation training and inviting community members to discuss their lived experiences.
- Led the Professional Standards Unit and launched a comprehensive review.
- Created the Equity, Inclusion and Human Rights Unit to ensure fairness, equity and inclusivity within the police service, including gender diversity and trans inclusion.
Olivia Chow is just another status quo politician who not only failed to stop disorder and crime on our streets, but has undermined public safety efforts and the police her whole political career.
- Chow has tried cutting police budgets for years, including being the only councillor to vote against approving the 2003 police operating budget.
- When Chow ran in the 2014 mayoral race, she confirmed she still supported cuts to police services and trim policing costs, starting with paid duty work and overtime.
- As a member of the Police Services Board, Chow interfered with police trying to break up a riot at Queen’s Park. She arrived at the end of the protest and told the press she was “ashamed” of police. When asked about the incident later, Chow stated she had "a very different memory" of her conduct during the riot than the police do."
- Chow previously voted against support for community policing. She was also the only member of the Police Services Board to vote against an extension of the Community Policing Action program in the 1999 budget and she also voted against communities having a say in how community policing money should be used.
- As MP, Chow voted against the Safe Streets and Communities Act in 2012, which included tougher laws for illegal handguns, increased punishment for crimes committed with illegal handguns, and increased punishments for child predators and many other serious offenders.
- Chow respects all unions except the police union. Chow previously accused the police union of lying about public safety when the union protested budget cuts amid a rise in the homicide rate, and also accused them of trying to turn Toronto into a “police state”.
- Chow openly criticized the donation of a police helicopter to the city and thought the parking area in front of 52 Division, a main downtown police hub, should be replaced by flowers.