Shameless Wire, our new training program for young journalists, is in
full swing. Over the next few months, we’ll be publishing a number of
guest posts by Wire participants. This first series responds to
Toronto city councillor and mayoral candidate Giorgio Mammoliti’s
platform, which calls for a city-wide teen curfew.
by Diana Faria
City Councillor Georgio Mammoliti thinks that we need a curfew for Toronto’s teenagers. Mammoliti is wrong. He is also making way too many assumptions about teens, implying that we are all irresponsible, that we all need this.
We probably shouldn’t be taking Mammoliti seriously anyway – after all, his platform includes a casino and a red-light district in downtown Toronto, and giving bylaw officers guns. Strangest of all, Mammoliti argues that a curfew would reduce the murder rate. That is ludicrous. To quote Statistics Canada, “in 2008, 55 youth aged 12 to 17 were accused of committing homicide.”
Does he realize that with Canada’s population at 30 million and growing, having only 55 youths accused of committing murder is extremely small? We can clearly state here that youth homicides are both rare and unusual. Statistics Canada also points out that “80% of solved homicides were committed by someone known to the victim.” The main problem does not lie in strangers on the street, attacking other strangers at random.
If the problem is that teenagers are murderers, as Mammoliti seems to believe, than why not focus on the biggest problem, which is gang violence, instead of trying to label every teenager by making a curfew? In 2008, gang violence was on the rise. Why didn’t Mammoliti look at those statistics before trying to force a curfew on every teenager, peaceful and violent alike? Of course there are teens out there who are lost and confused, some even involved with gangs. But most teens do not need this curfew, and Mammoliti should leave them alone.