Newly-minted Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Michael Tibollo recently went for a ride-along with Toronto police in the tough Jane and Finch neighbourhood, and as per protocol, he wore a bulletproof vest.
Later at Queen’s Park, Tibollo admitted doing so, saying, “Personally, I went out... middle of the night."
Cue the outrage! NDP leader Andrea Horwath said the comments were “racist”, and Liberal MPP Michael Coteau added, “I don’t know what the minister was scared of.”
I don’t know if Minister Tibollo was scared of anything, but it’s a moot point since all police ride alongs, even to tony neighbourhoods like Rosedale or Forest Hill, require the civilian to don a bulletproof vest.
In other words, this policy is meant for protection and perhaps to limit liability, not to “stigmatize” anyone.
This preposterous reaction makes me wonder though — who is the racist here?
Maybe it’s Horwath and Coteau who require sensitivity training, while Tibollo should be applauded for venturing into the field and seeing firsthand what the cops have to deal with on a daily basis.