Pile of used drug paraphernalia on Toronto street has the internet talking
A certain Toronto mayoral candidate has caused on ruckus on the internet after posting a photo of discarded drug paraphernalia on a local street.
Former police chief-turned-mayoral-candidate Mark Saunders posted a photo from Yonge and Shuter, showing needles, alcohol swabs and other miscellaneous evidence of intravenous drug use.
This was at Yonge & Shuter not more than an hour ago.— Mark Saunders (@marksaunders_TO) April 11, 2023
Enough is enough.
As mayor I'm going to make Toronto safer. pic.twitter.com/vCwv2mMKcK
"Enough is enough. As mayor I'm going to make Toronto safer," read the caption on Saunder's post, prompting a near-instant Twitter debate.
Of course, there were lots of people agreeing with Saunders, and the very common idea of criminally charging those who use substances.
But, in a twist that I bet Saunders did not see coming, many people were quick to argue that extra-policing does not stop people from using.
You couldn't make the city any safer as police chief, why do you think you'll be able to achieve anything as mayor?— Salomon Salvador (@sal_sal) April 11, 2023
Others pointed out that if Saunders wasn't able to "make Toronto safer" as police chief, there isn't a good chance this would happen if he was elected mayor.
So housing, community services, mental health care for starters?— SoniaJ (@sj_ca1867) April 11, 2023
"How will you tackle addiction? The law enforcement way or the health crisis way?" read one response.
Saunders did not actually specify how we would tackle this problem, but many figured it had something to do with his police background.
Some people also pointed out that housing, health and community services are the correct ways to address addiction and substance abuse, not charges, jail time or fines.
Your priorities are all wrong. If you truly wanted to make Toronto "safer" then announce a plan and budget to support much needed safe-injection sites, housing for the vulnerable and improved mental health supports.— Dr. Faisal Moola (@faisal_moola) April 11, 2023
"What are you going to do? Relocate them? Jail them? Or treat them?" read another very, on-point comment.
It seemed that the majority of the comments were appalled at Saunders' attempt in gaining voters and questioned what exactly he did as chief to address these issues in the past.
I'd never vote for a Mayor that treats homeless and substance abuse as a criminal act. Find the root of the problem. Do better— Gary🇨🇦🏳️🌈♠️ (@CrumpetGoat) April 11, 2023
Perhaps one of the best responses to Saunders was this; "cool…by investing in #HousingFirst, save inject sites, redirecting police funds to addiction and healthcare, properly funding care and shelter, create safe places for people…right?" One could only hope.
The 2023 Toronto mayoral election will be held on Monday, June 26.
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