HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Province Vows New Efforts Against Pot Growers, Child Porn
Pubdate: Tue, 29 Jun 2004
Source: Windsor Star (CN ON)
Copyright: The Windsor Star 2004
Author: Doug Schmidt


Ontario's top lawmakers tell top cops fight to be stepped up; more
officers to be hired

New efforts to combat child porn ography and marijuana grow houses
were among the initiatives announced Monday by two of Ontario's top
lawmakers to a gathering of police chiefs in Windsor.

Another $1million is being injected by the province into the fight
against child pornography on the Internet and an "action group" is
being set up to combat the "clear and present danger" represented by
marijuana grow houses, Community Safety and Security Minister Monte
Kwinter said.

The extra anti-child-porn money will pay for five additional officers
for the OPP's Project P task force. That comes in addition to $1.4
million in new funding recently announced by the Ontario government,
Kwinter said.

Speaking at the opening of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police
(OACP) annual conference, Kwinter said smaller police forces, in
particular, will benefit from the bolstered fight against the hugely
profitable child porn industry.

Adding his voice to the same forum a few hours later, Attorney General
Michael Bryant said the provincial government has put Internet service
providers on notice that they "are going to be held criminally liable"
if they don't assist in halting the web-based traffic in child porn.

Kwinter also used the occasion -- speaking to the top brass
representing most police services in Ontario -- to announce the
province's response to the OACP's recent "Green Tide" report, which
highlighted the threat of public safety of what has become Ontario's
No. 2 crop, hydroponic marijuana.

A task force comprising government, police and other agencies --
including bankers, insurers and electricity providers -- is being set
up to "co-ordinate action plans" targeting the pot "cancer that is
spreading into our neighbourhoods."

Last week, Windsor's drug squad shut down six sophisticated marijuana
growing operations in a single day, seizing pot with an estimated
street value of $5.5 million and charging seven people with
trafficking and other drug offences.

Kwinter said new legislation he introduced last week, making it
mandatory for hospitals to report any gunshot wounds they treat, would
make Ontario the first province in Canada to do so.

The minister later told reporters he found it odd that the law
requires auto body shops to report gunshot holes in vehicles but
hospitals are not similarly required to report gunshot holes in people.


On the controversial police issue of racial profiling, Kwinter said
"some individual officers may act inappropriately ... (but) there's no
place for it in Ontario."

Despite the province's current budget woes, Kwinter told the chiefs
his government remains committed to the hiring of 1,000 new police
officers during its current mandate.

Windsor police Chief Glenn Stannard had a cautious response to that

When the provincial Tory government added 1,000 new officers about
five years ago, Windsor added 20 new bodies to its force, but with
city ratepayers required to fund half the cost, Stannard said. "We'll
have to see what the formula is."

In his lunch address to the chiefs, Bryant said he's appointed 22 new
judges and 46 new Crown attorneys to address backlogs in the justice

And he pointed to the most recent efforts at combatting "guns and
gangs" in Toronto as an example of how his government is moving toward
tighter co-operation between law and order. Prosecutors, he said, will
assume a stronger role in calling on judges to mete out stiffer sentences.

The OACP's 53rd annual conference, complete with an exhibitors' hall,
continues at the Cleary until Wednesday. 
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