Publisher’s Comment: Toronto really has lost its innocence

by Rob Wilkins

Life in the city. Traffic jams, pollution, crime, and illegal guns – the kind that kill people.

It seems a day doesn’t go by without waking up to news of yet another homicide.

Growing up in Scarborough during the ’60’s, it seemed that every house on my street had 2.5 kids, a white picket fence and of course, a dog. It was Pleasantville. I was a proud member of the Perivale Pirates.

Named after our street, we weren’t a gang. We were a tough, take no prisoners type of ball hockey team.

We’d play other street teams in the surrounding area, usually on the weekends with the occasional night game under the lights of the Dominion parking lot.

From time to time, one of our players would get a little too aggressive. This would result in the customary pushing match or occasional black eye, after which, we’d all gain our senses and continue playing. That’s as serious as it ever got.

Things sure have changed.

The old way of settling the score meant meeting the other kid out by the bike racks after school. These days, you never know what the other kid will be “packing” so if you’re smart, it’s not an option.

Oddly enough, there are cities with a higher homicide rate – much higher. Many U.S. cities are light years ahead of us in this department.

Check out Baltimore’s stats, among others.

How many more months are we going to have to listen to our political leaders promise us a solution? Call in the experts responsible for cleaning up (to a point) New York City. Take a page out of Glasgow’s book and bring in the hanging judges. Just do something!

A month or so ago, we had the distinction of making CNN’s headline news.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t for the right reasons.

It was as though Ted Turner’s whipping boys were trying to justify to the American public that maybe, just maybe, U.S. homicides and crime in general are at an acceptable level since it’s happening at the same time to their peace-loving neighbours to the north. It’s all we needed after the damage SARS had on our tourism industry.

We need to get to the kids at an early age, before peer pressure takes hold.

Parents need to recognize that they are the first line of defense. In my younger days, if someone was caught with a weapon of any kind, they’d be deemed a wacko. These days, they’re being deemed as cool. That’s the problem.

Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-510-5123.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.