"Canadians feel less safe today and rightly worry about the security of their neighbourhoods and the country," the speech said.
"There is no greater responsibility for a government than to protect this right to safety and security."
Tough on crime sells, particularly in vote rich urban centers. The irresponsible rhetoric of the government feeds the inaccurate perception that Canada is becoming less safe. If you ask Canadians, they always respond that crime is on the rise, communities are less safe, this opinion is a by-product of a media pre-occupied with the sensational, with every incident exposed and brought into living rooms.
The concurrent news story today, which completely contradicts the Conservatives hysteria, gun crime is down:
The national homicide rate dropped 10 per cent in 2006, while the number of killings committed with firearms fell...
The homicide rate has been on a general decline since it peaked in the mid-1970s at just over three homicides per 100,000 population.
It had reached a 35-year low of 1.73 in 2003.
Of the 605 homicides, 190 were committed with a firearm, 33 fewer than in 2005 and a 16 per cent drop in the rate of firearm homicides.
In fairness, the article also says violent crime was on the rise, but if you take the overall trends, there is no indication of a rise, in fact we see a decline.
It is a losing battle to argue against the "tough on crime" agenda, because facts are secondary to appearances. It is no coincidence that the Conservatives have decided to make their crime package the centerpiece of the new session, they know they can exploit the issue for maximum political gain. However, this tactic doesn't distract from the reality, supported by actual evidence, that a prosperous society, that focuses on prevention and rehabiliation, is the best remedy to crime, proven in the Canadian experience. Fear mongering for votes, the truth the real casualty.