Finally! After far too many shootings, too many deaths, and too many unheard laments from Police Chief Julian Fantino, a few of our politicians are starting to get it.
Instead of spouting the usual feel-good lines about how Toronto is a safe city and crime is down, a couple of our leaders have recognized, at last, the need to confront guns and gangs on our streets.
That's the good news.
The bad news? The politicians are city councillors, which means they don't have much power when it comes to law and order.
But hey, every little bit helps in this battle. And local councillors should know better than anyone the damage gangs and gun crime are doing to our city.
So we salute Toronto Coun. Michael Thompson - a rookie politician who launched a bold plea last week for action against gangs, guns and drugs.
Thompson's proposals are refreshingly simple and direct: he wants all three levels of government to work together to get illegal guns off the street, curb gang activity and help young people get off the drugs that fuel the crime.
He sees what gun violence is doing to his community of Scarborough and understands it will take a strong, united effort to fight it.
He hears the concerns of his constituents, who understandably think crime should be the city's top priority. (After all, what good is a nice waterfront if people are scared away from Toronto by flying bullets?)
Thompson's ideas are to be heard at the city's policy and finance committee Thursday. And he's not alone. Veteran Coun. Brian Ashton yesterday made a bold proposal of his own, calling on the city to impose its own stiff penalties (i.e., fines) on anyone caught with an illegal gun.
But Ashton's bid is largely symbolic - a swipe at the feds, whom Ashton has pressured in the past to impose tougher, mandatory sentences on those who carry and use illegal guns in crime. We strongly support such penalties, but they have to come from Ottawa, not city council.
Council can, however, make an important start by taking this issue in hand. By acknowledging the city has a crime problem that, in Thompson's words, is "a cancer." By bringing together cops, community groups, and our many governing politicians from Ottawa and Queen's Park, and pushing them to action.