From CTV :
"On Wednesday night in Calgary, Justice Minister Vic Toews insisted all questions be screened in advance during a town hall discussion on the government's get-tough-on-crime bill."
Well how terribly Bush of you! And at a "town hall" too.
OK, what have you got?
"Federal Justice Minister Vic Toews outlined the Harper government's justice initiatives Wednesday night at a town hall meeting in Calgary.
"I don't think that anyone can seriously say that our streets today are as safe as they were 20 years ago," Toews told about 150 people at the meeting in the riding of Calgary West."
Really? How about compared to 10 years ago?
That would certainly qualify as a trend, wouldn't it?
From Statistics Canada :
OK, so we can seriously say that our streets are safer than they were 10 years ago.
"Toews concedes the government has estimated its prison budget might increase by up to $300 million, but he says it's worth the cost."
While looking for statistics on violent crime, I ran into this page from the Corrections Service of Canada, dated Sept 2000. There's a lot of interesting data there but their conclusion seems particularly pertinent here :
"American politicians have often found it in their self-interest to use fear of crime as a strategy to win elections, by promising to wage war on crime.
It is ironic that in the United States, as in Canada, crime rates have been declining since 1991. However, by waging war on crime they have managed to double their prison population without making the United States a noticeably safer society than Canada. We would do much to advance the public interest if we can better manage the fear of crime than our American neighbours."