POLITICS

CBC's The Current Takes On Vic Toews And Tories For Claim Their Tough On Crime Approach Working

07/25/2012 05:38 EDT | Updated 07/25/2012 07:53 EDT

CBC Radio's "The Current" took on Vic Toews and the Tories on Wednesday after the Public Safety Minister took credit for a dip in the crime rate.

The show opened with the following monologue in the program's signature voice:

It's Wednesday, July 25th. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says the lowest crime rate in 40 years shows his government's tough-on-crime approach is working. Also working: The tough on jobs approach for high unemployment, the tough on economy approach for record home prices, the tough on environment approach for record temperatures and tough on all of you who didn't vote Tory. This is The Current.

You can hear it for yourself here.

Toews claimed on Twitter Tuesday that the Tories' "tough-on-crime" approach is working, but that there is still work to be done to get the crime rate back to where it was in the early 1960s. His tweet came after Statistics Canada released data showing that the crime rate is at a 40-year low.

Obviously, "The Current" disagrees with Toews' assessment of the situation and of the Conservatives' approach to, well, everything.

The question of whether a news program on the nation's public broadcaster should take sides in the nation's politics was nowhere to be seen on "The Current's" Facebook page Wednesday, where the monologue was also posted.

"The man is a numbskull. The crime rate has been declining for years and has little if anything to do with the ridiculous and populist 'tough on crime' act," one commenter wrote.

"Nothing like a politician underestimating the intelligence of it's (sic) own country's residents," posted another.

As of Wednesday afternoon, all of the comments on the post supported the radio show.

And it seems the Facebook users have a point.

"Overall, this marked the eighth consecutive decrease in Canada’s crime rate," the StatsCan study said. "Since peaking in 1991, the crime rate has generally been decreasing, and is now at its lowest point since 1972."

So it's more than a little rich for Toews to be taking credit for something that started when Brian Mulroney was still prime minister.

In fact, with the crime rate plummeting for the past 20 years, perhaps Toews and the Tories should be taking time to consider whether passing the omnibus crime bill was the best way to make Canada a safer place.

"You're going to spend an awful lot of money to incarcerate more offenders, we don't know how many yet, but certainly more and we're not going to get any kind of increase in social safety," SFU criminologist Neil Boyd told News 1130 Tuesday. "It's a very costly bill. There's no good evidence it will have the kind of impact on crime rates that we would hope for."

With files from The Canadian Press

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