OTTAWA, Nov. 8, 2018 /CNW/ - When communities are free of gun and gang violence, more families thrive and more businesses prosper. That's why the Government of Canada's Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence is focused on smart solutions to make our communities safer.
Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, announced an investment of $86 million to help the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) combat gun and gang violence.
Over five years, $51.5 million will be provided to the CBSA to help prevent firearms from coming into the country illegally. The CBSA will invest in an all-weather detector dog training facility, deploy new dog teams at key highway crossings, expand x-ray technology at postal centers and air cargo facilities, and provide training on the detection of concealed goods in vehicles crossing our borders.
$34.5 million over five years will be used to enhance the RCMP's new Integrated Criminal Firearms Initiative (ICFI). The ICFI includes building capacity for investigations, training, inspections, technology, and intelligence.
At the Summit on Gun and Gang Violence, convened by the Government of Canada earlier this year, experts attested that, to end gun and gang violence, governments must adopt a holistic approach, supporting prevention, gang exit, and enforcement initiatives, and taking into account that Canada's many regions and communities face distinct challenges that require distinct solutions. The summit also heard that law enforcement, whether at the border or across Canada, must have the capacity, the information, and the tools they need to keep Canadians safe.
Recognizing that a cooperative approach will be critical to success, the Government of Canada is making funding of over $200 million available to provinces and territories in order to respond to their specific needs. Funding will also be provided to organizations that serve vulnerable populations at risk of joining gangs and becoming involved in gun violence.
"Criminal gun and gang violence is a grave threat to the safety and prosperity of our communities. Giving law enforcement the resources they need to stop it is a critical part of the solution. Today's announcement will allow the RCMP and CBSA to take significant steps forward in the fight against gun and gang violence."
- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
"Gun and gang violence has no place in Canada. Tackling illegal trafficking of firearms is an important first step in eradicating gun and gang violence. Our frontline law enforcement officers in the CBSA and RCMP do extraordinary work. We heard directly from law enforcement that this funding will help intercept and stop the flow of illegal firearms as well as gather greater intelligence on gangs that will be used to disrupt their movements and activities. We know if our officers have the tools they need, they will keep us safe."
- The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
- This funding will be provided as part of the broader Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence (ITAAGGV) announced by Minister Goodale in November 2017.
- It will increase law enforcement support, intelligence-sharing and interdicting smuggled firearms. In 2017, the Canada Border Services Agency had 467 seizures of firearms, which was an increase of nearly 19 per cent from the overall number of firearms seized in 2016.
- In 2017, the rate of violent firearm offences increased for the third year in a row to 2,734, an increase of 7 per cent over the previous year.
- Public Safety Canada will work closely with Statistics Canada to improve data collection on gang-related criminal incidents.
- Major new federal funding and summit to tackle gun violence and gang activity
- Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2017
- Homicide in Canada, 2016
- Backgrounder: Criminal Gun and Gang Violence in Canada
- Video: Summit on Gun and Gang Violence
SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
For further information: Scott Bardsley, Senior Advisor for Communications, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 613-998-5681, [email protected]; Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux, 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]