VUONG: The regressive left are ripping up the social contract

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The social contract is at the core of a civilized society. In exchange for accepting some limitations on certain individual freedoms and recognizing legitimately elected authority, we expect the state to keep us safe, uphold our laws, and maintain public order. 

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We pay this authority taxes to fund public services like garbage pickup; road maintenance; law enforcement, and much more. We trust that these authorities will use our hard-earned tax dollars responsibly. 

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However, in the City of Toronto, Mayor Chow and her cabal of regressive left city councillors, with silent implicit approval from Toronto’s NDP and Liberal MPPs and MPs, are ripping up the social contract. Just ask people and businesses who have been living with the occupation of Clarence Square Park. 

Hotels are charged a mandatory municipal accommodation tax but are forced to operate in an increasingly lawless city. It’s hard to be in the hospitality business when you can’t be hospitable and are forced to lock your doors to guests to protect staff from increasingly violent break-ins and assaults to staff, guests, and neighbours. Moreover, ask neighbourhood residents about the fire at Clarence Square Park on Jan. 8, or the tent explosion and encampment fire on Feb. 29. Ask them how safe they feel about the growing propane tank collection and monthly fires all directly across the street from a gas station. 

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Condominium boards representing thousands of Torontonians, six hotels, as well as local small businesses wrote to their local city councillor, Ausma Malik, and Mayor Chow with detailed documentation of all they have been forced to endure. Their desperate pleas fell on deaf ears. 

Travel east to Leslieville where residents have felt failed by all three of their elected representatives who have turned a blind eye to the death, misery, and destruction to all who live near the drug injection site. In fact, residents have started referring to their multi-level authorities as the “three blind mice”. 

Such wilful blindness has had deadly consequences. Last summer, an innocent mother was killed. Two were charged, including a worker at the injection site for obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact. 

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Local Leslieville residents are tired of being continually failed by their elected representatives and have taken matters into their own hands, filing a class action lawsuit to hold South Riverdale Community Health Centre, the province, and the city responsible for their neighbourhood becoming a dangerous, needle-ridden warzone. 

They’re not the only ones crowdsourcing from the grassroots to sue the city. 

It is perhaps no coincidence the city councillors for the two neighbourhoods mentioned, Councillors Ausma Malik and Paula Fletcher, are also signatories on a public declaration reaffirming their support for the lawlessness and chaos that we have been witnessing on Toronto streets. 

Freedom of expression does NOT mean one has the freedom to harass or intimidate. Nor does freedom of assembly mean you can trespass on private property, disrupt businesses, and tie upcritical infrastructure. 

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The “abuse” of one’s personal freedom to target, intimidate, and harass Jewish citizens, businesses, and neighbourhoods is NOT a right. It is simply unacceptable no matter what the regressive left councillors think. 

Equally alarming, as Toronto Sun columnist Warren Kinsella points out, is how two other councillor signatories to this public declaration are members of the Toronto Police Service Board, the police civilian oversight body.  

Kinsella correctly asks if Councillors Cheng and Morley violated the code of conduct that governs Board members and whether they are “directing the police to go easy on violent anti-Semites”. Seriously?  

What we do know is that pro-Hamas agitators who wedged themselves in with pro-Palestinian demonstrators, now feel emboldened by the Regressive Left’s letter. So much so, they’re now openly discussing tactics of “disciplined militant confrontation and strategic escalation”.  

Toronto, like Canada, must be governed by the rule of law not mob rule. If Mayor Chow and the Regressive Left are unable or unwilling to uphold our laws and the social contract, then they should step aside for those who will. 

 — Kevin Vuong is the Independent Member of Parliament for Spadina-Fort York. He is the youngest MP of Asian heritage elected to the 44th Parliament. The son of refugees, Vuong also serves as a naval reserve officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. 

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