MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 26, 2019 /CNW/ - Canadians have the right to feel safe in their communities and it is the responsibility of all governments to keep them safe. Gun and gang activity in Ontario has been a long-standing problem affecting the quality of life in neighbourhoods and how people live their lives. The Government of Canada is taking action to combat gun and gang violence in communities by investing in the Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence across Canada.
Today, the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, the Honourable Bill Blair, announced $54 million over three years in funding starting in 2020 to support Ontario's Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy (GGVRS). This funding is in addition to the $11 million over two years announced in March, bringing the total investment over the five-year initiative to $65 million.
This support will help the province continue its work on the GGVRS and continue to deliver province-wide initiatives focusing on the prevention, intervention, enforcement, and prosecution of gun and gang violence in communities. The funding received from the federal government will specifically target initiatives that stop and address violent criminal activity before it starts, and provide exit strategies for youth already involved in gang activity.
"Ensuring the safety and security of Canadians is an issue our government takes seriously. We are making this substantial investment in Ontario to help fight gun and gang violence. All of us want our children growing up in communities that are safe and resilient. The Government of Canada is committed to working with all provinces and territories in supporting the work done by community partners and law enforcement who know how best to tackle gun and gang activity in their own communities. Today's investment ensures law enforcement and community organizations have the support and resources they need to continue this critical work."
- The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
"Ontario is standing up for law-abiding citizens by expanding its fight against gun violence and the gangs who prey on young people and communities. Our government is committed to taking action where it is needed most to disrupt the drug, gun, and human trafficking that is fuelling gang operations across the province and threatening the safety of families and neighbourhoods."
- The Honourable Doug Downey, Attorney General of Ontario
"Criminals don't respect geographic boundaries. That's why our government is working with partners to fight illegal guns and gangs province-wide and ensure that criminals who commit offences end up where they belong – behind bars."
- The Honourable Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General of Ontario
- In March 2018, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness convened a Summit on Gun and Gang Violence to engage stakeholders and address the challenges, opportunities and best practices for reducing gun crime and gang violence in Canada. Representatives of community, youth and Indigenous organizations, law enforcement, criminal justice, all levels of government, former gang members, academics, gun-owner groups and victims of violence provided their input.
- The Government of Canada invested $327.6 million over five years to help support a variety of initiatives to reduce gun crime and criminal gang activities under the Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence.
- From the $327.6 million, $214 million will be made available to the provinces and territories through the Gun and Gang Violence Action Fund over a period of five years. $86M is provided to the CBSA and RCMP to help prevent illegal firearms and concealed goods from coming into the country illegally, while providing necessary resources for firearms investigations.
- As part of its commitment to community funding under the Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence, the Government of Canada also invested an additional $8 million over the next four years in the Youth Gang Prevention Fund beginning in 2019 under the National Crime Prevention Strategy.
- The Government of Canada also announced $1.5 million to the City of Toronto to support policing efforts to help keep communities safe following a spike in gun violence in the city. This will be part of the overall $4.5 million payment announced August 13, 2019 with equal contributions made by all of the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto.
- Gun and Gang Violence
- Federal funding to tackle gun violence and gang activity
- National Crime Prevention Strategy
- Combatting gun and gang violence in Ontario to keep communities safe
- Minister Goodale Urges Joint Action to Combat Criminal Gun and Gang Violence
- Summit on Gun and Gang Violence: Summary Report
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For more information, please visit the website www.publicsafety.gc.ca.
SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
For further information: Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux, Senior Communications Advisor, Office of the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, [email protected]; Media Relations, Public Safety Canada, 613-991-0657, [email protected]