by hunter_c on February 1, 2016 - 10:59pm
An article from The Huffington Post Canada published on January 22nd, 2016 written by Hijal De Sarkar titled, “Militarizing Police Does Not Serve or Protect Canadian Citizens” revealed that the Canadian government intends to turn our police into American copycats. According to this article, the Canadian government has ordered semi-automatic assault rifles for the Toronto police force, specifically for their front-line officers. These weapons will cost $2,500 each and will be in every patrol car in Toronto by May 2016. Interestingly enough, Canadian crime is so low that the Fraser Institute wants to scale back police departments across the country, which causes the author, Mr. De Sarkar to wonder if these purchases are about, “making a bold statement about who makes the orders and who follows them.” To further instill the idea that our police force is becoming a military of sorts, Windsor, Ontario and Glasgow, Nova Scotia have received armoured tanks for free from our government. One has to ask themselves, is this necessary?
In 2010, the Toronto Police purchased a “sound cannon” which was developed by the U.S Military to fight wars in foreign countries. It is so powerful that it can rattle human bones, and it has been used against Canadian citizens. As Mr. De Sarkar points out, when Canadians think of a militarized police force, they often think of the United States. More specifically, the protests in Ferguson and Baltimore, where a staggering $450 million dollars’ worth of military gear donated by the Pentagon was used against those citizens. Of course, the Canadian government does not give nearly as much military gear, but we have had millions of dollars spent by local police departments to buy weapons that were “originally developed with war zones in mind.” This begs the question, are our police departments here to serve and protect us as their badge indicates, or are they here to show citizen’s who’s really in charge?
It is important to remember that police are here to protect us, and not to be “armed to the teeth” as the author puts it. Having weapons like that simply isn’t necessary for a country like Canada and we should leave the big guns to the army, where they belong. Speaking up about these issues to our government can have a major impact on what kinds of weapons our police are permitted to have, and we should let them know that semi-automatic assault rifles just aren’t one of those weapons.
As for the reliability of my source, Huffington Post is world renown for their news articles, and the author of this article, Hijal De Sarkar, is described as, “a political consultant”. When I clicked on the link of his name provided by Huffington Post, it brings me to a page that tells me that he has worked with the Alberta NDP, Ontario NDP, Canada’s NDP and has worked on Parliament Hill. Since I wanted more information, I googled his name and he is mentioned in Now Toronto Magazine, CBC News, National News Watch, Huffington Post, and he is a CPAC TV personality. All of these things give me confidence that he is someone who knows what they’re talking about when it comes to Canadian political issues, so he is a reliable source. But, that being said, we also have to keep in mind that the author does do extensive work with the NDP, so there may be a political motivation to this as well with him giving his opinion on these issues. The facts are all there and are accurate, it just depends on if you agree with his opinion.